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Casio Paying Microsoft To Use Linux 262

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-never-get-rid-of-the-dane dept.
theodp writes "Will Tux be a rainmaker for Microsoft? GeekWire reports that Microsoft has struck a deal with Casio to provide Casio's customers with coverage for their use of Linux in Casio devices. The agreement, which calls for Microsoft to receive payments of an undisclosed amount, is an implicit acknowledgment of Microsoft's longstanding claims that Linux violates its patents, an assertion that members of the open-source community have long disputed."
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Casio Paying Microsoft To Use Linux

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  • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@NOsPam.hotmail.com> on Tuesday September 20, 2011 @06:42PM (#37461692) Journal
    Microsoft are a disgusting, disgraceful and unethical company.

    They have been a barrier to innovation, blocking so many new technologies they've set humanity back decades. They should be split up and forced to compete on merits

  • by andydread (758754) on Tuesday September 20, 2011 @08:17PM (#37462652)

    This may answer your question. From geekwire.

    "Among the statements by Barnes & Noble are details of meetings between the companies "

    At the meeting, Microsoft alleged that the Nook infringed six patents purportedly owned by Microsoft. Microsoft had prepared claim charts purportedly detailing the alleged infringement but insisted that it would only share the detailed claim charts if Barnes & Noble agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement (“NDA”) that would cover the claim charts as well as all other aspects of the parties’ discussions. Noting that the patents were public and that the infringement allegations pertained to Barnes & Noble’s public product, Barnes & Noble refused to sign an NDA.

    Insisting that an NDA was necessary, Microsoft discussed the alleged infringement on a high level basis only. Microsoft nevertheless maintained that it possessed patents sufficient to dominate and entirely preclude the use of the Android Operating System by the Nook. Microsoft demanded an exorbitant royalty (on a per device basis) for a license to its patent portfolio for the Nook device and at the end of the meeting Microsoft stated that it would demand an even higher per device royalty for any device that acted “more like a computer” as opposed to an eReader.

    After sending the proposed license agreement, Microsoft confirmed the shockingly high licensing fees Microsoft was demanding, reiterating its exorbitant per device royalty for Nook, and for the first time demanding a royalty for Nook Color which was more than double the per device royalty Microsoft was demanding for Nook. On information and belief, the license fees demanded by Microsoft are higher than what Microsoft charges for a license to its entire operating system designed for mobile devices, Windows Phone 7.

    This pretty much sums up what they are doing. They are approaching companies producing devices with Linux and threating them under NDA to sign a per-device license fee or Microsoft will sue them out of business. Thereby shutting them down.

    A scenario:
    Microsoft walks into a business
    Microsoft: what a nice open source business you have here but this is a dangerous neighborhood, you need some protection.
    Store owner: Protection? from who?
    Microsoft: well from us really. If you don't pay us to use open source and Linux in particular we will sue you out of the marketplace
    Microsoft: Oh and sign this NDA. You cannot talk about this to anyone... get it?

    Its really sleazy egregious mobster-like behavior on the part of Microsoft. Unless the Linux developers and greater community start lobbying the government, open source and Linux as we know it is screwed.

  • Re:A good sign (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jonner (189691) on Tuesday September 20, 2011 @09:02PM (#37463068)

    Microsoft is a patent troll and should not be accommodated in their abuses regardless of the what the USPTO has said since the patents which are claimed to apply to software like Linux should never have been granted in the first place.

    Based on what exactly? Your word?

    My opinions are influenced by those of many smarter and more knowledgeable than I am. If you're not aware of the reasons software patents are harmful, you may have been living under a rock. Here's [endsoftpatents.org] a good place to start in that case. Though it's not specific to software patents, This American Life [thisamericanlife.org] has an excellent program about the current patent mess that is accessible to anyone.

    In addition, no court has decided that any Microsoft patent applies to Linux, though Microsoft has sued a number of companies claiming that.

    Great, I never claimed any court has made such a decision. The point is that these companies aren't just stupidly licensing these patents without having their lawyers look into it. Like I posted above, HTC isn't one that shies away from patent fights so if even they are licensing them it gives lots of credence to the fact that they are most likely valid. Or how else do you explain how they are more than willing to take Apple on in patent suits yet they licensed the ones from Microsoft without any fight?

    I won't pretend to know what any of those companies should do to maximize profits in the short term. The fact that Casio, HTC and many others have yielded to patent trolls is a symptom of a deeply broken system. Even if it's in Casio's interest to make this deal with Microsoft right now, it helps keep in place a status quo that is an obstacle to innovation and therefore a financial drain on the entire industry.

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.

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