Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 15:12 UTC
Legal This week's 'big' news on OSNews was about software patents. You know, those things that say you cannot stack four pixels on top of one another unless you pay money to the guy who invented four-pixel-stacks (or the guy who bought the guy who invented four-pixel-stacks). A company called IP Innovation, LLC, has sued Novell and Red Hat for infringement of the company's IP portfolio. Software patents are of course generally completely ridiculous, so I will not focus on that here. I want to focus on something else.
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RE[4]: non-sensical article
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: non-sensical article"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom, strong circumstantial evidence is still strong circumstantial evidence, regardless of whatever way you want to cut that.


Except for the fact that the evidence in question isn't strong.

There was no logical reasoning at all to counter what Groklaw had come up with, and you seem to have got a bee in your bonnet about conspiracy theories at Groklaw.


Of course there was. They claim MS is behind it all, and had come up with a few pieces of evidence, evidence that, according to me, is extremely weak. Enough to counter, if you ask me.

However, if several former Microsoft employees join an IP troll company at the same time that Microsoft's CEO says that Linux companies will have to cough up effectively, and then said IP troll company with former Microsoft employees then sues said Linux companies, then the chances of that being a coincidence, and a black helicopter conspiracy as you amusingly call it, are practically zero.


You are leaving out a few facts here. You are making it seem as if the recent threats by MS were the first threats Microsoft has ever stated. Nonsense of course - they have been saying the same thing for years. In other words, Microsoft threatening open source companies this way is not new, it has been doing it for ages, and hence can be left out of the story.

Then we move on the suing part. You are forgetting that this company used the exact same patent against Apple in April this year, settling it out of court, so it only makes sense they are going after other operating system vendors too. Red Hat and Novell are the big two desktop Linux vendors - the only two where money is to be found. So, it makes sense that after a succesfull attempt against Apple, they bare now gunning for more vendors.

So, that's two of your "conincidences" easily refuted as being *logical*, following events of the past.

That makes the employee bit stand on its own, refuted in the article. Coincidence? Could be, like I said, I really don't know. All I'm saying is that the "evidence" presented by Groklaw is so easily explained in simpler ways that it is hard to take it as evidence at all.

Ahhh, the old personal attacks ploy. Sadly Thom, there were absolutely no personal attacks at all in the post you replied to.


"Yeah, Thom is a master of using logical fallacies."
"Thom also knows that."

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: non-sensical article
by SReilly on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:26 in reply to "RE[4]: non-sensical article"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

You are leaving out a few facts here. You are making it seem as if the recent threats by MS were the first threats Microsoft has ever stated.

I'm afraid you're leaving out facts in this case.

I think it's safe to say that anyone who is arguing for MS being the culprit know what MS has been threatening for years. What you have left out is that, for the first time, and barely a week before this court case was filled, Balmer stated that other companies would start looking for damages concerning Linux's supposed patent infringements.

Now, taken on it's own, that statement means nothing. But if I take the whole chain of events and add them up, I'm more inclined to listen to what PJ says, even if I'm still not 100% behind her.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: non-sensical article
by segedunum on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:26 in reply to "RE[4]: non-sensical article"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Except for the fact that the evidence in question isn't strong....Of course there was. They claim MS is behind it all, and had come up with a few pieces of evidence, evidence that, according to me, is extremely weak.

Is this a competition to get the word 'evidence' into a post the most times?

Enough to counter, if you ask me.

You can't counter things just by saying that there is no evidence.

Nonsense of course - they have been saying the same thing for years. In other words, Microsoft threatening open source companies this way is not new, it has been doing it for ages, and hence can be left out of the story.

Again, you're viewing this as an individual event here. What Groklaw and everyone else is doing is taking all of those events together. Yes, Microsoft have been threatening Linux for years, but public statements about it have been more carefully selected - and it wasn't a simply a 'Linux has our IP in it' threat either, it was a specific "Cough up!" threat.

Then we move on the suing part. You are forgetting that this company used the exact same patent against Apple in April this year...

So what? The Microsoft employees joined after that, and it was at that point that Ballmer made a specific cough up threat against Linux vendors, and IP Innovation then went after those same Linux vendors after specalists in IP law from Microsoft had left and joined IP Innovation.

That makes the employee bit stand on its own

Can you tell me how many IBM, HP, Apple, Sun and other employees have been recruited by IP Innovation, and how many are specialists in IP law?

I mean, it follows that if this is merely a coincidence then we should have seen former employees of other companies joining IP Innovation during that period.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: non-sensical article
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 14th Oct 2007 22:45 in reply to "RE[5]: non-sensical article"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You can't counter things just by saying that there is no evidence.


That's not what I did. I just offered several, more logical explanations for the three events listed by Groklaw. Events that require a lot less assumptions to be made.

Again, you're viewing this as an individual event here.


Now you are not making any sense. You are accusing me of viewing this as an individual event, but when I bring other events into account (IP suing Apple, IP suing MS), you dismiss them with a "so what"? That's not very consistent.

Can you tell me how many IBM, HP, Apple, Sun and other employees have been recruited by IP Innovation, and how many are specialists in IP law?


I have absolutely not even the slightest idea. At all. But that is not important here - I am not defending someone's innocent-ness, so the load ain't on me.

I don't know if I'm right on this one, but you seem to think that I believe Groklaw is wrong. Like I clearly stated a few times already - I really do not know if Groklaw is wrong or right. All I am saying is that the presented evidence is weak, and by no means conclusive - when viewed alone, or when put together.

It might turn out that Groklaw will be 100% spot on, and that Microsoft really is orchestrating all this. I never claimed otherwise.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: non-sensical article
by archiesteel on Mon 15th Oct 2007 19:55 in reply to "RE[4]: non-sensical article"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

They claim MS is behind it all, and had come up with a few pieces of evidence, evidence that, according to me, is extremely weak. Enough to counter, if you ask me.


To be fair, they do not *claim* that MS is behind it, they suspect it is, and raise some good questions about the whole thing.

Therefore, they don't produce evidence, but rather elements that raise serious questions about the whole thing - and while you're ready to give MS the benefit of the doubt, many others aren't ready to dismiss it off-hand. To me, the questions still remain, and possible links should be investigated.

However, one thing neither me, you or Groklaw can do, is positvely affirm that MS in involved, no more than we can say that it's *not* involved. Right now we're still in the realm of possibilities, and we're likely to remain there for many months on this issue. We might in fact never know.

In other words, as of now all possibilities are there, and the only thing we can disagree on are their respective probabilities of being true...

Reply Parent Score: 3