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[News] TurboHercules and Microsoft (and How IBM Was Provoked)

  • Subject: [News] TurboHercules and Microsoft (and How IBM Was Provoked)
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 08:29:52 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

[Older:] Mainframe emulator goes commercial

,----[ Quote ]
| TurboHercules is co-headquartered in Paris, 
| France, where Bowler moved after he left 
| the United Kingdom, and in Seattle, 
| Washington, in close proximity to the one 
| big software company that has in the past 
| taken a shining to anything that gave Big 
| Blue some grief, particularly with 
| mainframes. (Yes, we mean Microsoft).


IBM vs. TurboHercules: Our story thus far... 


IBM: Open Sourceâs Friend or Foe?


IBM says it won't sue to protect open-source patents


â When Reptiles Attack: Has IBM Tired Of FOSS?

,----[ Quote ]
| Despite the temptation to believe that some 
| companies are unequivocal supporters of 
| free and open source software, we should 
| never forget that all for-profit companies 
| are actually reptiles, acting instinctively 
| on behalf of their shareholders and not 
| acting on the basis of intellectual or 
| philosophical insight. An expression of 
| support will inevitably be a statement by a 
| group of people within the company, 
| motivated by a business activity. It will 
| have been made in the context of a set of 
| tensions between different priorities and 
| with other groups of people in the same 
| company. It will be the direction instinct 
| has been steered by the availability of 
| âfoodâ and the presence of âthreatâ.  Every 
| expression of support â or act of 
| aggression â needs to be seen in that 
| light.
| An important part of my job at Sun was to 
| monitor actions they took that affected 
| communities. I monitored the flow of 
| requests to use and release open source 
| code, ran the Ombudsman service so that I 
| was first to hear of community issues, and 
| acted as a (mostly!) âtrusted friendâ to 
| Sunâs legal staff prior to any action they 
| took. At regular intervals throughout my 
| five year tenure, I spoke up for 
| communities and ensured that the actions 
| taken in Sunâs name were not harmful to a 
| community or Sunâs FOSS reputation. On some 
| occasions I even had to request executive 
| back-up for my position, in effect 
| requesting a veto power.
| Regardless of the merits of IBMâs case 
| against TurboHercules, the fact the 
| incident has happened at all is an 
| important signal. I canât for a moment 
| believe this is the first time since IBMâs 
| patent pledge that any part of the company 
| has wanted to act against a community 
| participant. We can see the tension between 
| the statement Dan Frye makes through the 
| Linux Foundation and the statement of 
| another IBM spokesperson in the WSJ 
| attempting to say the Pledge doesnât apply 
| to everyone. To hazard a guess, the 
| competition is now characterised by Google 
| â a huge user of and contributor to open 
| source software â instead of IBMâs old 
| foes, Microsoft and Solaris.


Is IBM splitting hairs with open source?

,----[ Quote ]
| Itâs no secret that Iâm a big Free Software 
| fan. Itâs no secret that IBM is a giant 
| company with more money than I can possibly 
| imagine. So I was pretty happy in 2005 when 
| IBM, in an obvious PR stunt to get buddy-
| buddy with the open source community, made 
| its Statement of Non-Assertion of Named 
| Patents Against OSS, ostensibly saying that 
| it would permit open source projects to use 
| any of the items covered by those patents 
| without risk of penalty or lawsuit. Yay! 
| Finally, a BigCo getting it and doing the 
| right thing! But five years is a long time, 
| people come and go, and promises can be 
| forgotten. IBM has lately threatened to sue 
| someone for infringement of a lot of IBM 
| patents, including at least two that were 
| included in the Non-Assertion statement.
| [...]
| More plausibly, what I think is going on 
| here is one of two things. Either the 
| lawyers got a little over-excited in 
| creating the non-exclusive list of patents 
| used to threaten TurboHercules and included 
| two patents covered by the Non-Assertion 
| statement; or IBM thinks theyâre free to 
| sue the company, and not the open source 
| project itself, for the patent 
| infringement. My guess is itâs the latter.

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