[Fsfe-ie] Can this be true?? Linux migration stopped....
ian at locut.us
Thu Aug 5 12:39:10 CEST 2004
While this has obvious benefits in terms of highlighting the practical
dangers of software patents, I have some concerns about it. The logic
behind this could be used to call into question *any* software
deployment, open source or not. This risks creating the misleading
impression that software patents are only a threat to open source
software development, when in reality they are a threat to *all*
On 5 Aug 2004, at 09:51, Barry Mahon wrote:
> From The Register today??
> One of Europe's most publicised Linux migrations has been halted over
> patent fears. The decision was not prompted by a litigious IT vendor,
> but as the result of concerns expressed by Munich city Alderman Jens
> Muehlhaus. Muehlhaus represents the Green Party, an open source
> supporter. As part of 'Project LiMux', Munich plans to migrate 16,000
> desktops to Linux by 2006. The $35.7m bid prompted fierce lobbying and
> heavy discounts from Microsoft, including personal visit by the
> company's CEO.
> Muehlhaus expressed concerns over many areas of general purpose
> computing, including graphics and multimedia (X, KDE), document
> formats, networking and web browsing. These should be expressed now,
> he believes, rather than when the migration is complete and a patent
> threat could be 'catastrophic' for the working of the city.
> Last week, a study conducted for Open Source Risk Management, a
> start-up which seeks to sell end-users 'insurance' against and advice
> about patent litigation, identified 283 patents potentially infringed
> by the Linux kernel, of which 27 are held by Microsoft.
> Two years ago a senior HP executive expressed concerns that Microsoft
> could halt HP's open source efforts, although this was based on a
> misunderstanding of the GPL. Microsoft introduced its first patent
> licensing program late last year, offering FAT and FAT32 to
> manufacturers who use the file system on Flash media. The validity of
> Microsoft's FAT patents has since been challenged.
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