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Our Leader Responds

For those of you who don't syndicate Planet Ubuntu, and you're an Ubuntu user, you may have missed a very valuable post.

Mark Shuttleworth firmly places his stance on Microsoft and supposed patent infringement.

The result is this: Canonical/Ubuntu will NOT be holding any negotiations with Microsoft in regards to patent protection. He said it most beautifully:

Allegations of “infringement of unspecified patents” carry no weight whatsoever. We don’t think they have any legal merit, and they are no incentive for us to work with Microsoft on any of the wonderful things we could do together. A promise by Microsoft not to sue for infringement of unspecified patents has no value at all and is not worth paying for. It does not protect users from the real risk of a patent suit from a pure-IP-holder (Microsoft itself is regularly found to violate such patents and regularly settles such suits). People who pay protection money for that promise are likely living in a false sense of security.

His post continues in a most elegant matter about the Open Document Format specification versus Microsoft's OpenXML, and their lack of commitment to Free Software. Mark doesn't rule out any future collaboration with Microsoft to help promote and grow Free Software, but recognizes that their current actions suggest stifling Free Software rather than promoting it. Ubuntu - Windows interoperability may become a future project of the two companies, but at the moment, Microsoft will have to look elsewhere if they are to continue their patent protection FUD. Canonical and Ubuntu aren't taking the bait.

Thanks Mark!

{ 4 } Comments

  1. nabil2199 | June 17, 2007 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    hey M$ enough with the FUD

  2. Bert Van de Poel | June 18, 2007 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    I'm very glad to hear all this, we linux users should be those who stop microsoft, all software for home users should be free, only special business software can be commercial and only when it really needs to. We may be the anarchists of the software world, so be it !!!! I believe in the spirit of Tux, Ubuntu and GNU.

    Yes I am a believer !!!!!!

  3. Steven Haddox | June 18, 2007 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I'm ecstatic to see that my favorite Linux distribution is taking a firm stand and not giving in to unwarranted threats from the monster that is Microsoft.

    Also, I just wanted to offer insane amounts of kudos to your blog - from the theme, to your knowledge of encryption and web development I am thoroughly impressed - especially from another Utahn 😉

    I grew up in the St. George / Hurricane area and am trying to work my way back out west eventually (now if I can just find a good

  4. Anonymous | June 20, 2007 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    We thought of doing something earlier within the Community Council but Mark already made an elaborate post about it, and its a bit tricky for us to be involved in Canonical business, although there is a very blurry line between Ubuntu community and Canonical's business interest which we are currently fixing up.

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