Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 12:49 UTC, submitted by Captain Pirate
Legal "We can read the Linspire-Microsoft patent agreement now, or more precisely Microsoft's 'Covenant to Customers', and I thought it would be worthwhile to give it a close, line-by-line reading. I'll explain it as best I can, but ask your lawyer if it matters to you in a real-world sense. For our purposes here, let's just have fun with the worst deal I've seen yet in this category."
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v Groklaw?
by Almafeta on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 13:22 UTC
Reminds me of...
by gothicknight on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 13:36 UTC
gothicknight
Member since:
2005-07-06

This movie haven't already passed on TV? Something about the devil and some poor bastard who was fooled to sign a contract full of wonders that in the end revealed to be a bind to the devil will.

Reply Score: 3

...
by fabz on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 13:38 UTC
fabz
Member since:
2007-06-19

not like we didnt know it would happen. Mr Carmony you really blew it this time dont'you think...?

Reply Score: 1

A bunch of crap
by sappyvcv on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 14:15 UTC
sappyvcv
Member since:
2005-07-06

Not a real legal analysis. Just full of snarky, sarcastic remarks on each sentence of the covenant. Couldn't they at least pretended to have a sense of non-bias and objective analysis? Opinion is fine, but to be sarcastic and exaggerate everything is ridiculous and pathetic.

What value does this actually offer? I don't see any. If I wanted what it is actually offered, I could read that on slashdot, here or even digg. Sites that don't pretend to be some bastion of objectiveness.

Reply Score: 5

RE: A bunch of crap
by fsckit on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 14:21 UTC in reply to "A bunch of crap"
fsckit Member since:
2006-09-24

I don't remember Groklaw ever claiming to be 100% unbiased, or anything of the sort. As for what value it has to offer, you can be as biased and snarky as you like, when you're dead on correct.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: A bunch of crap
by sappyvcv on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 14:40 UTC in reply to "RE: A bunch of crap"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess it's the readers that claim it moreso than the site. Any site that tries to do legal analysis SHOULD leave out sarcasm/sarcastic remarks, unless it's meant to be a humorous site/article. This clearly is not.

Instead of seeing what their point was and thoughts, all I got was having to wade through sarcastic remarks. It's a shame people enjoy this.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: A bunch of crap
by wirespot on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 15:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A bunch of crap"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Considering how bloody stupid Linspire seems to have been to agree to those terms, humor and sarcasm seems a good approach to the issue. Beats bitterness, anger and so on.

Because if we didn't have humor we'd have to react badly to such deeply sad stuff. It was a commercial Linux distribution which had a decent following and had managed some interesting services with CNR and whatnot, in a time when established commercial Linux distro's that target end users can be counted on the fingers of one hand... And they had to throw it all away. For their sake, I hope it was worth it, because it sure doesn't seem that way from here.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: A bunch of crap
by Phloptical on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A bunch of crap"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

It's the only way to read legal documents without being put to sleep. Someone needs to spell out MS's intent, and the "snarkiness" is the best way to put that in print. I suppose you're all about the MS protection money then, right?

Tell you what, how about you read the document, and derive from it whatever you like, post it sans all the humor and bits that make it interesting to read, and let's see if your findings don't match what Groklaw came up with?

Some people.....no sense of humor....

Reply Score: 5

RE: A bunch of crap
by archiesteel on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 14:55 UTC in reply to "A bunch of crap"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Can you tell us which part of the covenant the author didn't analyze correctly? Because as far as I know, PJ's legal expertise surpasses yours.

It seems you're dismissing the analysis off-hand just because it doesn't fit with your own personal agenda. Instead of "shooting the messenger" and shifting focus away from the actual content of the article, why don't you tell us *exactly* where PJ got it wrong?

We'll be waiting...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: A bunch of crap
by sappyvcv on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 15:49 UTC in reply to "RE: A bunch of crap"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Where did I say she got anything wrong? It was too much of a pain to sort through anything of value with all the sarcasm.

This has nothing to do with my supposed "agenda". I'd be annoyed if it were the other way around and someone was posting a piece critical of say, the GPL3, but was making a snarky/sarcastic remark every other sentence. It devalues the message greatly and turns me off from taking them seriously. It exposes their agenda for everyone to see. They actually have an agenda.

Edited 2007-07-23 15:51

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: A bunch of crap
by archiesteel on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A bunch of crap"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

As people have already said, PJ has never tried to hide her bias. Knowing this, it's relatively easy to filter it out and just get the facts.

So, basically, you didn't have anything to say about the substance of what she wrote, but you still took time to complain about the style it was written in...again, that seems to me as if you're trying to change the subject and draw attention away from the fact that Linspire got *shafted* by MS with this deal.

It devalues the message greatly


I disagree. I find that it actually makes it more interesting to read than the average legal analysis, while being just as informative. I think your bias is simply preventing you from filtering out the commentary part...

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: A bunch of crap
by sappyvcv on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: A bunch of crap"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I think your bias is preventing you from seeing that the open source community doesn't seem to give a rats ass how they get their messages across. Sarcasm, FUD (yes, FUD), hate, deception. It's all fair game as long as it knocks Microsoft or other things propietary. I wish the community wouldn't have to sink to that level. A level that corporations love to sink to themselves. But I guess it's ok since it's against Microsoft.

Anything that doesn't put Microsoft in a remotely positive light (not that they deserve that in this case) is used, regardless of how tasteless.

Anyway, go ahead and mod this down. It's getting too off-topic and people don't like to hear the truth anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: A bunch of crap
by archiesteel on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A bunch of crap"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

What are you talking about? Sarcasm is a mode of expression that can be very effective in this day and age - look at shows like the Colbert Report and such. Groklaw has their own style, and they're not going to change just because it upsets you.

That said, can you show us what is *so* tasteless in PJ's analysis of the Linspire deal? What passage turned you off so bad that it prevented from getting the point she was trying to make? Please point to us the use of FUD, hate and deception in that article? Because, as far as I'm concerned, the only FUD I see is the one coming from you, trying to divert attention from the message by complaining about the style it was written in.

It's all fair game as long as it knocks Microsoft or other things propietary.


No. It's all fair game when Microsoft tries to screw the community over. Oh, and what's this sneaky addition of "or other things proprietary"? Again, you're trying to change the subject by insinuating that people who are opposed to Microsoft's shenanigans are against proprietary software. Stick to the subject at hand instead of trying to muddy the waters.

I read PJ's analysis, and it's nowhere as "snarky" or "tasteless" as you claim, unless you've got the strict morals of an Etiquette Tutor.

So to you, PJ's tone may lessen the impact of her argument. Personally, I think it has the opposite effect, just like Colbert is more effective than any other "serious" Liberal pundit.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: A bunch of crap
by sappyvcv on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 16:31 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: A bunch of crap"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

1. Colbert is on a comedy channel FFS.
2. I never said she used FUD, hate or deception. That was more a point in general, not about her. Hence why I said "the community". Pay attention
3. FUD from me? What kind of fear am I trying to spread here?
4. I never insinuated that people who oppose Microsoft stuff opposte propietary. Never. Reread.

I guess you're right though. It is more effective. People would rather high-five each other and stand around in a circle-jerk than read a serious analysis.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: A bunch of crap
by archiesteel on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: A bunch of crap"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

1. Colbert is on a comedy channel FFS.


Perhaps, but his political satire is often more effective than "serious" political commentary as far as generating awareness of issues is concerned.

2. I never said she used FUD, hate or deception. That was more a point in general, not about her. Hence why I said "the community". Pay attention


That's my point, exactly. Instead of sticking to the issue at hand you keep trying to make generalizations. That doesn't help.

3. FUD from me? What kind of fear am I trying to spread here?


You forgot the U and the D, i.e. uncertainty and doubt about the validity of PJ's criticism due to her writing style.

4. I never insinuated that people who oppose Microsoft stuff opposte propietary. Never. Reread.


Then why did you bundle the two together in that sentence? It seems to me you're trying to insinuate guilt by association.

I guess you're right though. It is more effective. People would rather high-five each other and stand around in a circle-jerk than read a serious analysis.


The two are not mutually exclusive. You can have an in-depth analysis that also uses sarcasm.

By the way, there's a certain irony in complaining about tastelessness, then bringing up images such as a "circle jerk"...

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: A bunch of crap
by dylansmrjones on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A bunch of crap"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

So basically, you're saying you prefer people lying nicely to you instead of telling the truth unpleasantly?

*sigh*

. o O ( but it does explains the marketshare Windows has ;) )

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: A bunch of crap
by sappyvcv on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: A bunch of crap"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm not saying that at all nor did I imply it. I prefer people just tell the damn truth and leave the extra crap out of it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: A bunch of crap
by dylansmrjones on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: A bunch of crap"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

There is very little extra crap in it. Most of it is simply analysis even if the wording seems offensive to you. There is definitely no sarcasm in the article. I haven't read the comments yet, but they are probably rather sarcastic, but PJ is seldom sarcastic in a harsh way (but I'm a Dane, I'm bound to miss it ;) )

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: A bunch of crap
by dylansmrjones on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 16:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: A bunch of crap"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

people don't like to hear the truth anyway.


That does seem to be the conclusion of your behaviour. You are ranting about an existing bias (which NOBODY denies exists) and about a virtually non-existing sarcasm. PJ's article isn't the least bit sarcastic - at least not as sarcasm goes in Denmark. People offended of the blunt truth would have a hard time in Denmark. PJ's article is VERY polite and pleasant-worded (though quite biased).

You are simply complaining because you cannot handle the truth. Truth hurts. Live with it.

Reply Score: 5

Lindose
by Liquidator on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 15:39 UTC
Liquidator
Member since:
2007-03-04

Linspire is a Microsoft wanabee, and a loser as well. Didn't they name their OS "Lindows"? They have often taken bad decisions.

Reply Score: 4

My new Theory
by milles21 on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 15:40 UTC
milles21
Member since:
2006-11-08

Ok here is my wild theory! I think Microsoft is forming all of the patent agreements and covenant not to sue because they are really considering releasing Office for Linux. What this means is that they can basically provide companies such as Novell, Linspire with office and still ensure that there information is not modified and used in the free Linux community by threatening to sue any one who does not get it under some enterprise agreement.

I think this is the reason for the " we won't sue Novell's Customers" I think this is really about how to get MS biggest cash cow on Linux and ensure that Openoffice stalls. Openoffice is really hitting mycrosoft from all sides, IBM, SUN, LINUX, APPLE and I think they realized the threat when they had to actuall compete with the ooxml format standarlization.

If you think about it the patent agreements make sense if you are planning to release a Linux version. Let's not forget Google apps. I am not saying I have any inside info but I will say that someone should make the case that this could be more about office and that the patent threats are really part of a way of systematically convincing Linux users that they can have all the benefits of MS apps if the buy from a vendor who has a direct relationship with MS.

Last but not least even if the MS Linux never happens it will in a way because the technology agreements in the enterprise suites will allow for changes in openoffice that may incorporate advanced office2007 integration that cannot be released to the community possibly distributed by Linspire, and Novell as plugins/ patches allowing novell to keep in good with the community.

I am not bashing Novell I like SLES I use SLES I rely on SLES. Personally I don't disagree with the model , or the way they choose to run THEIR business. I am just saying that I think these agreements are to curve the eroding of MS office suites because in the case of productivity suites the gap is narrow!

Reply Score: 3

RE: My new Theory
by lemur2 on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 23:34 UTC in reply to "My new Theory"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Last but not least even if the MS Linux never happens it will in a way because the technology agreements in the enterprise suites will allow for changes in openoffice that may incorporate advanced office2007 integration that cannot be released to the community possibly distributed by Linspire, and Novell as plugins/ patches allowing novell to keep in good with the community.


The license under which OpenOffice is released do not allow for changes to be made to it which are distributed to users but which are not released back as source code to the community.

Doing such a thing as you suggest is a clear breach of the GPL.

Edited 2007-07-23 23:43

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: My new Theory
by milles21 on Tue 24th Jul 2007 02:57 UTC in reply to "RE: My new Theory"
milles21 Member since:
2006-11-08

Thanks I missed the OpenOffice license so I guess it is back to my office for Linux theory! I really am not being sarcastic when I say thanks. You helped me rule one theory out.

Reply Score: 1

ubuntu
by Dekkard on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 17:04 UTC
Dekkard
Member since:
2006-01-07

I just hope for my sake that this move makes Ubuntu forget any intention of using C&R as a repository. You lie with dogs.. you get fleas.

Reply Score: 3

RE: ubuntu
by apoclypse on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 17:28 UTC in reply to "ubuntu"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

They don't need it anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Groklaw?
by Marcellus on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 19:14 UTC
Marcellus
Member since:
2005-08-26

Since for some reason, it's not possible to reply to Almafeta's first post in this thread, I'm putting my comment (and quote) here:

Why is there a link to Groklaw? That site's just a large number of opinion pieces, filled with the Ann Coulters and Rush Limbaughs of the software industry. A page coming from there is only 'news' in the sense that it's about as well researched as the Weekly World News.

C'mon, it can't be that slow of a news day...


Can't agree more about that.

What's worse is that the site is "excused" with all that BS because the so-called PJ never denied being biased.

Reply Score: 1

Groklaw should be linked to more often
by b3timmons on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Groklaw?"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

You and Almafeta are wrong. Let's look at the facts:

1. Linspire and Microsoft are on topic for this website.
2. Linspire's agreement with Microsoft is an important example of how Microsoft is trying to interact with its competition.
3. Groklaw offers a legal analysis of the agreement.
4. Thus, linking to the Groklaw article is appropriate for OS News.

The analysis may contain errors, but apparently no one on OS News can find any, so instead the best critics can do is attack the messenger instead of the message.

Not only is the link appropriate, but OS News would be much better off linking more often to Groklaw when Groklaw comments on the major issues of software that matter to a significant part of the OS News readership. Indeed, free software use is growing in the OS market, Groklaw has played a unique role over the years in explaining some of the issues affecting much of free software, and so it is foolish not to make use of Groklaw.

Reply Score: 5

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Legal analysis? What makes it a legal analysis? She makes no reference to any laws or cases whatsoever. It's purely an opinion piece with a line-by-line rebuttal of the covenant.

Just because it happens to be written by a paralegal on a site called groklaw, does not make it a legal analysis.

Reply Score: 1

ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

The analysis seems to be of the convenant itself. Is Microsoft's covenant not a legal document? Groklaw is just a blog, I agree with you there, and PJ herself always says that if you want legal advice you go to an attorney, no ifs-and-or-buts.

Perhaps if Google offered a lawyerese -> English translater, Groklaw would be deprecated, but I think Google employs too many lawyers these days to let something like that out in the wild ;)

Edited 2007-07-23 22:57

Reply Score: 3

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess it depends on what your definition of "legal analysis" is. I wouldn't consider any analysis of a legal document/letter/covenant to be a legal analysis. It should strictly examine the legal aspects, citing past cases that may be of relevance and codes that may come into play.

Reply Score: 1

b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

"Legal analysis" is no kind of legal term or even any kind of defined phrase that implies anything about qualifications of the analyst. It's just a casual phrase, there is plenty of precedent of such use, and there is no danger that anyone thinks it's anything but casual given the many disclaimers about PJ's lowly paralegal status. Your fishing expedition would be more interesting with showing an error in, you know, the "legal analysis" itself, as opposed to nitpicking phrases used to describe it or the (rather predictable) style of the analysis itself.

Edited 2007-07-23 23:20

Reply Score: 4

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Again, please point out where her analysis is wrong.

Please stop trying to discredit the messenger, and actually point out mistakes in her analysis.

Reply Score: 5

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Dude, what is wrong with you? I wasn't trying to discredit her at all. She never claimed it was a legal analysis. The guy I replied to did, and I was questioning him in this case. Christ.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

No, dude, what is wrong with

you
? You've been extremely negative from the get go (i.e. "bunch of crap", "not a real legal analysis"), but have yet to comment on a *single* point PJ has raised in her article. So, it's not a "real" lawyer's analysis...big deal! It's still a very good one, and until you come up with anything better, it's the *only* one we have so far.

Stop spending so much time nitpicking on style, and start commenting on substance. That's the important thing.

Reply Score: 5

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

What don't you get? He made a statement about the article, I disagree. I told him so. I am not trying to nitpick the article in this case or even trying to be negative. I don't think it's a legal analysis and I don't think people should be stating such, as he does.

My original post was a bit premature. She never said it was a legal analysis, so I should not have tried to read it as such. I had expectations as such because it's called groklaw. I was clearly wrong to have such expectations and should only read it in the future as what it is -- another blog with opinion posts. This post is not meant to be negative, I am merely talking about who I replied to and my own expectations.

Edited 2007-07-24 01:09

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Stop spending so much time nitpicking on style, and start commenting on substance. That's the important thing.


You are up against a technique in debating called "deflection". Your opposite is arguing anything but the actual point, and is trying (somewhat successfully) to divert the topic into another discussion entirely about something else.

Amongst the many, many techniques that may be used:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

... this one comes the closes to describing "deflection":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_emotion

... or perhaps this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy

Your opponent is not interested in actually arguing the topic, but rather is out to simply discredit anything against his/her agenda in any way that he/she can think of.

Edited 2007-07-24 01:22

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Groklaw?
by ubit on Mon 23rd Jul 2007 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Groklaw?"
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

Why don't you three post your concerns (politely, with actual substance and proof-- of which you, Alfafeta and Sappy yet to show so far-- and without trolling) at Groklaw instead of going all ad hominem on everyone and PJ herself?

It says something about a person that attacks someone as not being real (from your post: <<because the so-called PJ >>) and yet then tries to speak about bias at a site. For example, I could say that you three are employed by Microsoft or their business partners, from reading your comments here, but that would not be productive.

Here's a read of the Groklaw comment policy and mission statement. Seems very unbiased to me but I've just been reading there since the start of this year. When attacks on _SCO_ aren't allowed, you know there's something special about a place.

http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=2004030120301285 Comment Policy

http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=20040923045054130 Mission statement

Edited 2007-07-23 22:46

Reply Score: 3

JonathanBThompson
Member since:
2006-05-26

Linspire screwed the pooch royally here: for a bit of money, they signed with Microsoft on some rather stiff terms that limits them to being protected from being sued for the patent infringement claims Microsoft is holding over the Linux crowd, in exchange for some other parts of Microsoft's IP, and this is very clearly a one-time deal for their current version of software, especially in light of the GPLv3 limitations, since GPL'ed software doesn't stand still for very long.

Perhaps Microsoft had what seemed to Linspire to be compelling evidence that they would, indeed, win in court over the patent infringement claims, and that's largely why they tied themselves with this contract. However, looking at the terms of the contract, it appears to effectively tie them to just one point in time, and anything that happens to advance software (GPLv3 changes) isn't covered, and takes it out of the running as a protective device. Thus, Linspire paid money ahead of time to put off what looks like either detente, or the eventual case of Microsoft carrying through with their threats, which doesn't really exclude them with the advent of GPLv3 at all in any meaningful way.

In addition to that, it's clear this caving in of Linspire to Microsoft's terms doesn't sit well with the Linux crowd that would most likely be their customers: hence, they've also alienated their customers and potential customers, so they've shot off their own feet there, too.

It seems Red Hat was wisest in not agreeing to something if it was remotely like these terms, and will likely end up no worse off if it comes to a legal fight in the future, because at least they won't have spent their money for this stalling tactic, and can put that towards paying their legal staff.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by elsewhere
by elsewhere on Tue 24th Jul 2007 02:46 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

It's amusing to try and dissect contracts and EULA and such for popular consumption, but PJ being a former paralegal also understands that legalese exists for very specific reasons, and clauses are often in place and included for reasons that may not be readily apparent to the non-attorney segment of the population, so she certainly is taking some liberties here. But then while I rarely agree with anything in Groklaw lately and feel that PJ has lost all capacity for objectivity, I would still defend her right to her opinion. Often makes for an amusing read, if nothing else.

Having said that, the premise of the article really overlooks a fundamental aspect here: neither Linspire nor their customers are actually concerned about patent liability. Seriously, does anyone actually belive that Microsoft is going to bring the vapor-patent fight to Joe Average, which is squarely who Linspire aims at? I'd venture to guess that most of Linspire's customers don't know about the patent issues and likely wouldn't be too concerned anyways, specifically because it is a bunch of legalese, much like all those EULA and T&C dialogs they've become conditioned to clicking "I agree" for.

What they will enjoy, whether the FL/OSS community accepts this or not, is the ability to play MS media and use MS fonts. This is a distribution that caters specifically to Windows users looking to stay in their comfort zone; the original deal Linspire had with MS is going to be expiring within the next few months, and with it the access to the media codecs and "protected technologies" that implied. This is simply a re-interpretive renewal of that agreement, only instead of Microsoft handing Linspire $20M USD to go along with it this time, they're now extracting a royalty.

What the legalese basically boils down to is that the specific rights, such as they are, that MS is extending to Linspire customers are simply non-transferable. End of story. They're simply using many more and much larger words to say them same thing, which is where my original spiel about lawyers and structured documents comes in.

Within the context of IP licensing, that is fairly self-evident and to be expected. Of course, within the context of a GPL discussion, then all hell must break loose.

MS isn't denying the Linspire customers the right to exercise the GPL, they are stating that their specific protections and permissions do not apply if customers exercise the GPL. That's not quite the same thing, particularly since there is nothing specifically licensed within GPL-protected software that can be tracked to a specific patent.

So I really don't see what the BFD is here. It's a rehash of the usual "MS is teh evil." Ok. We get it. But Linspire is a business with specific objectives, and from that perspective likely felt that the benefits of this agreement outweighed the pointless slack that would come with the covenant MS is going to insist on tacking to any sort of agreement now. Whether that's the correct strategy or not will ultimately be for Linspire's paying customers to decide, not "The Community(tm)" since this has absolutely zero impact on them. And of course, "The Community(tm)" has pretty much bagged on and been hyper-critical of Linspire since the original MS deal they struck anyways, so I can't really see *objectively* where Linspire is losing in this one.

Linspire's not my cup of tea, but it seems to work well for many people.

EDIT: Forgot to title my post, and the default "Comment by Elsewhere" that showed up seemed a little arrogant. ;)

Edited 2007-07-24 02:48 UTC

Reply Score: 4

PJ gets it
by b3timmons on Tue 24th Jul 2007 03:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by elsewhere"
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

So I really don't see what the BFD is here. It's a rehash of the usual "MS is teh evil." Ok. We get it. But Linspire is a business with specific objectives...

I don't think PJ missed the point because the bulk of the analysis indeed shows that the deal indeed does not match the hype, as you acknowledge yourself. While Linspire likely has justifications that PJ does not address--as you point out, why should anyone else care? It chose its strategy long ago, and it clearly has to face with the consequences. These kind of deals do not necessarily help the sustainability of a community and process that many people have come to trust, and Groklaw's details here can strengthen people's justification in steering people away from the firms who do these deals with Microsoft. In the particular case of Linspire, some readers might be reminded of other compromises that it made in the past that did not inspire much trust. I think PJ "gets it" and continues to provide the same useful skeptical function that she has performed so well against SCO.

More generally, while you (or I) may disagree with PJ about whatever, what people really want to know are the specific mistakes that she might make [1], and these have been hard to come by in this story.

[1] One goof from PJ I recall (but may be quite wrong about) is some big stink she raised about some Novell OpenOffice "fork" a while back.

Edit: ubit disagrees with my recollection about the "fork", and my hunch is that he is better-informed on it than me. (That's too bad, since I have tried repeatedly to give Novell the benefit of the doubt)

Edited 2007-07-24 03:59

Reply Score: 3

RE: PJ gets it
by ubit on Tue 24th Jul 2007 03:47 UTC in reply to "PJ gets it"
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

"[1] One goof from PJ I recall is some big stink she raised about some Novell OpenOffice "fork" a while back"

I don't believe that's a goof, since Novell is incorporating Microsoft macro capabilities into their version, and has committed to OOXML. Could I read a Novell-OO.org created document with those features in my Ubuntu version of OO.org?

Now that we see all the patent deals with Linux distributors (Novell, Xandros, Linspire) have included the obligation to promote and code Microsoft's proposed document standard OOXML, I think it's very important to point that out. Especially since there are some very fishy activites around the standards technical committees, like what happened in Portugal where MSFT chaired the committee and refused to let Sun and IBM in on the meeting.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by elsewhere
by ubit on Tue 24th Jul 2007 03:44 UTC in reply to "Comment by elsewhere"
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

"What they will enjoy, whether the FL/OSS community accepts this or not, is the ability to play MS media and use MS fonts."

Isn't that 1. already covered by gstreamer using ffmpeg easily downloadable or by buying Fluendo's codecs, and 2. by Microsoft releasing their TrueType fonts under a BSD-like license many years ago?

I disagree that the patent covenant is meaningless though, because it can force all suppliers (Linspire doesn't do much coding) like Red Hat into a patent deal with MSFT, were customers to demand it due to MSFT threatening to sue them if they didn't pay royalties. It doesn't seem like that's as plausible now though, because of blogs like Groklaw IMO.

Without Groklaw, the FUD of the mainstream press would have pressured Red Hat into a patent deal with MS under the guise of interoperability.

Remember how the press lauded SCO's case before Groklaw pointed out the absolute absurdity of their claims? The same thing would have happened.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by elsewhere
by lemur2 on Tue 24th Jul 2007 04:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by elsewhere"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Isn't that 1. already covered by gstreamer using ffmpeg easily downloadable or by buying Fluendo's codecs, and 2. by Microsoft releasing their TrueType fonts under a BSD-like license many years ago?


In a word, yes.

https://shop.fluendo.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ffmpeg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libavcodec

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_fonts_for_the_Web
http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=34153
http://corefonts.sourceforge.net/

Edited 2007-07-24 04:24

Reply Score: 3

From Denmark...
by brostenen on Tue 24th Jul 2007 10:15 UTC
brostenen
Member since:
2007-01-16

Wooohoooo...
This keeps heating up U see...
All countries and states, that have softwarepatents are in for a BIG surprise now, as i see it...

Sooooo glad to be a dane. Sooo glad that we only have copyright and not patents. Yeahh..

At the same time, i feel so sorry for U guys.
This is not fair. So not fair..
Death to all software patents...

Reply Score: 1