Brian "Krow" Aker (krow) wrote,
Brian "Krow" Aker

Software Patents

"But what happens if Microsoft sues us?"

"What if they shutdown the Internet?"

Both are examples of statements that have been IM'ed to me today.

Guess what, Microsoft is bluffing.

They say these things, and then hope people either people will switch
to Suse, or more likely question everything they are doing with open

The Suse angle is new, and frankly I don't believe its very thought
out either.

Basically though, this is a shakedown.

I've been in several companies where we have gotten the MS form
letter that states "you are in violation!".

One company actually did ante up some cash to them. Paid the fee and
agreed to some IO audit every X number of years. It was pretty silly,
since once we admitted to the IP they had to spend a few weeks to
determine if we were even right (its was... weird...).

Most other companies I have been in have just tossed the letters. Not
asked for evidence, not spoken to the lawyers... they just tossed the

Microsoft makes revenue from these statements. Its a win-win. They
don't have to prove anything, and they don't have to go after anyone

And what should you do if Microsoft does do something about their
alleged IP?

Go buy from HP, last time I checked they even indemnify for open
source solutions (though I suspect this is limited to a subset of
projects). I bet if you bought enough from IBM they would do the same
thing. Both of these companies want to protect their customers.

Microsoft will make money from this. Someone will pay them
something... its just the way these things work.

Welcome to the world of saber rattling.
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