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Pact With The Devil

Well, apparently Linspire likes playing with Tarot cards and Ouija boards, because it just made a similar pact with the Devil like Xandros and Novell before it. TechChrunch has a writeup.

My concern is this. While I'm not worried in the least of Microsoft and it's apparent Kill Linux agenda, I am worried about Canonical making a similar move. So, I am asking Mark Shuttleworth directly: Are you going to make a similar patent protection garbage contract with Microsoft as well? Because if so, Ubuntu will no longer be for me. Let me know either via email or in the comments below. Again, I don't worry about the FUD, I worry about my distro and its parent company.

{ 11 } Comments

  1. efrain valles | June 14, 2007 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I just can see the benefit of joining Microsoft... someone please enlighten me...


    Bug #1, first reported on 2004-08-19 by Mark Shuttleworth

    Microsoft has a majority market share

    Non-free software is holding back innovation in the IT industry, restricting access to IT to a small part of the world's population and limiting the ability of software developers to reach their full potential, globally. This bug is widely evident in the PC industry.

  2. Chris P | June 14, 2007 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I recently posted the following @ the Ubuntu Community Cafe:

    The Sopranos (new head of family Steve Balmer)
    Being Canadian I only have a tacit amount of real world experience with American Law but from what I understand about the Rico Act it is directly related to the laundering of money gained by racketeering. Now don't get me wrong but if Steve Balmer was doing what it is doing to the Open Source Community with threats and intimidation....would that not constitute the creation of a new Cosa Nostra (maybe they should change the name of the company to MafiaSoft).

    I did a bit of research into the RICO ACT, a piece of American legislation that was designed to bring down organized crime back specifically but not limited to the Italian Mafia. From the web site I found the following definition of racketeering:

    The "racketeering activity" is the criminal activities in which the Mafia engages, e.g., extortion, bribery, loan sharking, murder, illegal drug sales, prostitution, etc.

    Now don't get me wrong here, Microsoft and down right underhanded as they have become are not going out and raping a pillaging (unless you include the retarded price for their latest iteration of Windows) but extortion, loan sharking.....with what they did with SCO and what they are now doing applying pressure to Linux companies and to their customers would in my opinion fall into this category.

    If there are any fresh faced Law School Grads out there looking to make a name for themselves, I say to you....have a stab at the Devil himself....he's fat, he's bald and he works in Redmond, WA.

    Chris....with the Str8line
    London, ON

  3. Mike | June 14, 2007 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Aaron, here's something from the pact-maker himself: I think we were all expecting this after KC made that GPLv3 post last week. I mean, it was obviously paving the way for something like this. While I can see the benefit for end-users and non-techies, it takes the free out of Linux (both free as in cost, and free as in licensing freedoms).

    While I think that Linspire is targeting a completely different audience than Ubuntu, I certain agree with you and hope that Ubuntu remains free in both senses.

  4. Ross | June 14, 2007 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    To clarify this, you can download a telephonic interview conducted by Duncan Mcleod from the Financial Mail in South Africa with Mark Shuttleworth.

    The answer is a big fat NO.

  5. Weeber | June 14, 2007 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    According to mark there’s nothing to be worried about. Here is a quote (thanks digg user schestowitz):

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | [Mark:] Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t
    | say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an
    | unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make
    | sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering. What Microsoft
    | is doing with intellectual property is exactly the same. It’s a great
    | company and I have great admiration for it, but this was not a
    | well considered position.
    | So you wouldn’t do a deal?
    | [Mark:] No, absolutely not. But the time will come when the folks at
    | Microsoft who have a clear vision for the company as a participant
    | in this community, rather than as a hostile antagonist, will win.

  6. lexxonnet | June 14, 2007 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I doubt canonical will sign such a deal. The reason Ubuntu is so popular, and has so many users is because it is free in every sense of the word.

    If something like that did happen, it'd be a pity, but all wont be lost. Most people would just move back to Debian.

  7. David Thomas | June 14, 2007 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Is this what it has come down to? I moved to Linux to be free, now Microsoft is again nipping at my heals. Please Mark we need someone to stand up to the bully on the playground. We need leadership, we need truth for once in this industry.

  8. Cyrus Jones | June 14, 2007 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I doubt Canonical will sign such a contract. But if I happen to be wrong, Ubuntu will go out the "window" for me. I don't think this agreement will be signed because too many people in the Ubuntu community are against it.
    These groups are least likely to sign deal (in order, from most unlikely): Debian, Ubuntu/Canonical, Red Hat. I could be wrong, and that would be unfortunate.
    Meanwhile, boo Novell, Xandros, Linspire, Samsung, Xerox.
    Linus, adopt GPL v3 when it is released.

  9. Julien | June 14, 2007 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Aaron don't Forget...

    Why are you treating Ubuntu for something it didn't do ?

    That's rude... Imagine : "Aaron, I won't read your blog anymore if you switch to MacOSX" 😉

  10. Nik Butler | June 14, 2007 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    In my recent Blog posting about Patently Obvious I asked an representative of the IPO about the Microsoft Patent issues. He was quiet clear that MS patents not filed in the UK cannot affect a UK company or one registered in the UK. Further the IPO doesnt believe software and software processes can be patented. I would believe the answer to other Distros is clear out of America. But I am glad your concerned and asking questions.

  11. Amy Rose | June 19, 2007 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I think this is just bull. Linux is about open source, not proprietary software. >_>

{ 3 } Trackbacks

  1. [...] darf. Aber das bezieht sich wohl eher auf Quellcode und nicht auf Binaries. Wie allerdings auch Aaron Toponce ausdrückt, hab ich speziell bei Linspire ein ungutes Gefühl, was diese Partnerschaft anbelangt. Denn vor [...]

  2. [...] anyone find that the patent pacts are getting rather boring now. This one feels a bit too close to home though. SPOILERS: Any version [...]

  3. [...] find a number of posts in the Ubuntu planet, from some of the top bloggers there. It was started by Aaron Toponce, followed by Richard Johnson, Jonathan Carter and Christopher Denter. The one common thing with all [...]

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