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[News] Microsoft's Mafia Behaviour (Linux Lawsuit) Shows It's Losing

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The Real Reason for Microsoft's TomTom Lawsuit

,----[ Quote ]
| That seems pretty definitive. The question now is what Microsoft hopes to 
| achieve by bringing this lawsuit. A fascinating explanation is provided as a 
| comment to my original post from Jeremy Allison. He's one of the leaders of 
| the Samba project, and knows more than most about how Microsoft thinks and 
| operates, since he's been heavily involved in the EU's efforts to get 
| interoperability information from the company. Here's what he wrote:     
| What people are missing about this is the either/or choice that Microsoft is 
| giving Tom Tom. 
| It isn't a case of cross-license and everything is ok. If Tom Tom or any 
| other company cross licenses patents then by section 7 of GPLv2 (for the 
| Linux kernel) they lose the rights to redistribute the kernel *at all*.  
| Microsoft has been going around and doing these patent cross licensing deals 
| with companies under NDA's so they never come to light for *years*. 
| That was the whole point of the Novell deal - Microsoft lawyers finally 
| thought they'd found a way to *publicly* do these cross licensing deals and  
| get around the GPLv2, but the GPLv3 put paid to that. 
| Tom Tom are the first company to publicly refuse to engage in this ugly 
| little protection racket, and so they got sued. Had Tom Tom silently agreed 
| to violate the GPL, as so many others have, then we'd only hear about a 
| vague "patent cross licensing deal" just like the ones Microsoft announces 
| with other companies.    
| Make no mistake, this is intended to force Tom Tom to violate the GPL, or 
| change to Microsoft embedded software.  
| [...]
| So it turns out that the TomTom lawsuit goes to the heart of Microsoft's 
| attacks on Linux, and its effort to stop people using it in embedded 
| systems – an increasingly popular option, and one, therefore, that is 
| increasingly problematic for Microsoft.    


Linux companies sign Microsoft patent protection pacts

,----[ Quote ]
| I dug this up during an e-mail discussion with Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's 
| corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of intellectual property 
| and licensing, Gutierrez said, "We have a history of licensing the patents in 
| this case through patent cross licensing agreements with other leaders in the 
| car navigation space, including Kenwood, Alpine and Pioneer, and through our 
| FAT LFN (File Allocation Table/Long File Name) patent licensing program, 
| where we have 18 licensees to date." This is being done under Microsoft's FAT 
| LFN File System Licensing Program.        
| [...]
| The most important reason why the specifics of these deals are under NDA is 
| that any company doing a patent cross license without covering its downstream 
| recipients, i.e. users, is a direct violation of GPLv2 section 7, and is even 
| more explicitly a GPLv3 violation. In other words, if a company admitted to 
| signing such a deal, it could not legally distribute software or hardware 
| using Linux, licensed under the GPLv2, or Samba the file/print server 
| licensed over the GPLv3.       

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