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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That would be fair only if it went both ways: commercial developers could use anything that's patented and used in Free Software without any strings attached, and vice-versa. Anything else would be a double-standard and would be distinctly unfair.

Good luck convincing people and companies that have invested time and various resources towards innovative stuff that they should hand over stuff so readily, Microsoft or otherwise.

The simplest solution would be to end software patents altogether, though I'd be surprised if that happened without a grandfather clause for existing ones.

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