Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Oct 2007 16:14 UTC, submitted by Rahul
Microsoft Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has warned users of Red Hat Linux that they will have to pay Microsoft for its intellectual property. "People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us," Ballmer said last week at a company event in London discussing online services in the UK.
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RE: definition of extortion
by JonathanBThompson on Tue 9th Oct 2007 22:17 UTC in reply to "definition of extortion"
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Well, until Microsoft ponies up proof, that's how a lot of people will see their actions.

However, if they truly do have evidence that their patents are being violated, it's no long extortion, technically, but a legal threat, and a threat that is indeed legal to make, that tends to either result in a civil court case or a settlement out of court.

Zealots would like to believe Microsoft is doing pure extortion, and that they have no legitimate claims to back up their sabre-rattling. However, that defies logic: Microsoft is the biggest software company on earth, and likely to be so for the foreseeable future, despite anyone's wishes otherwise, and that's because, for the most part, they don't do horribly stupid things like SCO did, at least not to any degree that matters towards the bottom line a great deal.

Microsoft is far from being unique in the field of software and high-tech stuff from doing this sort of thing: this is prevalent throughout the industry and any like it, but Microsoft just happens to be the most visible one, that's all.

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