Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How To Hijack an EU Open Source Strategy Paper

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the lobbyists-at-the-policy-table dept.

Patents 112

Glyn Moody writes "Thanks to the indispensable Wikileaks, we have the opportunity to see how an organization close to Microsoft is attempting to re-write — and hijack — an important European Union open source strategy paper, currently being drawn up. Analyzing before and after versions visible in the document demonstrates how the Association for Competitive Technology, a lobbying group partially funded by Microsoft, is trying to widen the scope of open source to include 'mixed solutions blending open and proprietary code.'" And reader Elektroschock adds some detail on EU processes: "The European Commission lets ACT and CompTIA participate in all working groups of the European Open Source Strategy, which defines Europe's future open source approach. A blue editor questions the objectives: 'Regarding the "Europe Digital Independence" our [working] group thinks it is, in general, not an issue.' 'European digital independence' is a phrase coined by EU Commissioner V. Reding, that is what her European Software Strategy was supposed to be about. She didn't reveal that lobbyists or vendors with vested interests would write the strategy for the Commission."

cancel ×

112 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (-1, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27013931)

I love how a government of 500 million people claims to be the victim of a company of 100,000. It just boggles the mind.

The fact of the matter is that open source, at least in the eyes of European policy makers, is about kicking the Americans out of the software business in Europe. Yet another example of how free trade is a failure.

Definitely, am supporting protectionist candidates in the United States.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (2, Informative)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014031)

If you protect your markets you destroy your exports. Exports are what drive our economy. Just like the Smoot-Holey Act in the 30's did your support of protectionism, if successful, will do far more damage to the economy than the banks have.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (3, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014251)

More yet, if you protect your market, you make your people poorer (except for the owners of protected companies). But that is valid only for protectionism... If you protect your markets from Microsoft (or any other kind of fraud) you'll make our people richer and will increase the competitiveness of your exports (except for items that bundle with Windows).

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024141)

More yet, if you protect your market, you make your people poorer

Can you give me a historically accurate example of that? Let's see, Asia's markets are protected, and they are building skyscrapers like crazy. USA's are not, and we have what?

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (4, Informative)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014705)

Interesting. How does open source and interoperability spending qualify as protectionism. It is more anti-dependency, deprotectionism.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (3, Interesting)

stox (131684) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015005)

I am getting so sick of the Smoot-Harley comments whenever the topic of tariffs comes up. There are issues with protectionist tariffs, but the reason Smoot-Harley was such a disaster is that the tariffs were fixed in dollar per item rather than a percentage of price. During the deflationary spiral of the 1930's, this resulted in the tariff's being as high as 60% of the cost of a tariffed item. Personally, I think we need to have some tariffs so that imported goods carry the same load in our society as domestically produced goods to level the playing field. It does not make sense that domestically produced goods carry a significantly higher tax burden than those produced abroad.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27017875)

but the reason Smoot-Harley was such a disaster is that the tariffs were fixed in dollar per item rather than a percentage of price.

One of the reasons. Not the only reason.

It does not make sense that domestically produced goods carry a significantly higher tax burden than those produced abroad.

I wasn't aware that they did. Care to expain why and how they do?

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (2, Informative)

stox (131684) | more than 5 years ago | (#27020369)

Domestically good producers have to pay their half of the worker's FICA taxes. Imported goods do not.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27020531)

I'm not normally one to quibble about misspellings, but seeing two different ones in a row gets my goat.

Its Smoot-Hawley folks. Smoot-Hawley.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (2, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015233)

The U.S. economy was built on protectionist policies. It's funny how they would get there if protectionist actually was all that harmful. Or take England, as another example: previously protectionist. Is it possible that selective protectionism may be good for a developing economy and bad for a developed economy, as empirical evidence would suggest? And that free markets would be good for -- wait for it! -- the proponents of free markets, i.e. rich nations?

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27021663)

The industrialized nations want free markets for consumer goods, services, and intellectual property, but protection for agricultural products.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (2, Insightful)

bconway (63464) | more than 5 years ago | (#27016589)

If you protect your markets you destroy your exports.

Japan seems to be doing just fine with it. Compare who made your TV and their TVs. Your phone and their phones (yeah yeah, excluding iPhones).

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27021635)

You don't even really need to exclude iPhones - Japanese people primarily buy Japanese phones... see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/27/free_iphones/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (2, Insightful)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27016977)

The EU does what the US should have done: encourage competition and punnisch illegal actions taken by dominant companies. Period. Good riddance. I'd rather have a choice between a Windows and a Linux and a whatever PC than only to have the choice to buy "Made for Vista" crap.

Fsck DRM. Fsck DirectInput. Fsck Direct3D. Fsck closed formats and protocols. Fsck lock-in. Fsck backdoors. Fsck x86 dominance (where's my 200 dollar/euro 64 threads CPU with a 1000% performance increase, huh?). Etc...

Just factually not true. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27020857)

If you protect your markets you destroy your exports

We don't have any exports relative to our imports.

Just like the Smoot-Holey Act in the 30's did your support of protectionism, if successful, will do far more damage to the economy than the banks have.

Even Milton Friedman argued that Smoot-Holey had nothing to do with the Great Depression. The GD was a monetary problem turned into an economic one. Indeed, if your argument were true, it would not explain how the United States went from an agrarian society to an economic manufacturing powerhouse in the 40 year span from the 1820s to the 1860s. Protectionism spawned the economic growth from farms to steel mills, won the civil war for the north, and then created the modern consumer society.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27014065)

I would too support MS if it were from my country. My question is: would EU do the same thing to protect their market if were another 3 or 4 big OS American companies disputing the same market?

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27014171)

No because then there wouldn't be a monopoly and it never would have reached the EU's attention in the first place.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27014915)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

The fact you have choices for which OS to install on your computer proves Microsoft is, in fact, *not* a monopoly. PsyStar vs. Apple is actually a great example for WHY Microsoft is not a monopoly. If you buy a PC from PsyStar you can choose OS X or Windows. The lawsuit shines light on the scenario greedy scumbags have thrust upon the consumers against their will, a scenario that obfuscates real issues with half-truths or complete fallacies about software licenses, end user agreements, and monopolistic practices. Because you have the freedom to choose Dell, HP, Apple, PsyStar or any other PC vendor, means you have the freedom to buy a PC with an OS other than from Microsoft.

I've said this before and drawn a distinction between the real Comcast monopoly and the imaginary Microsoft monopoly. Comcast's monopoly is real because in *most* places you can either get Comcast broadband cable or none. Microsoft's monopoly is imaginary because there is no case where Microsoft's OS is your only choice. I think the biggest reason people think Microsoft is a monopoly is because there are no SUCCESSFUL competitors that are able to convince: a) the consumer, and thus b) the OEM. OEMs are never going to partner with OS vendors that are not profitable to themselves or competitive with other vendors products.

Forcing your imaginary problems into reality specifically to undermine a proven business model and force consumers to buy sub-par products under the guise of competition takes away the free in "free market." This is a move initiated by lobbyists to increase profits in the industry for which they lobby. Plain and simple.

PS) Speaking specifically about the "bundled" browser monopoly... I think the easiest way to say it would be this: Mozilla's free software business model is a failure compared to Microsoft's free software business model. The antitrust case is really showing me that these other companies are big babies crying about their lack of ability to succeed at giving something away for free.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (4, Informative)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015411)

The fact you have choices for which OS to install on your computer proves Microsoft is, in fact, *not* a monopoly. PsyStar vs. Apple is actually a great example for WHY Microsoft is not a monopoly. If you buy a PC from PsyStar you can choose OS X or Windows. The lawsuit shines light on the scenario greedy scumbags have thrust upon the consumers against their will, a scenario that obfuscates real issues with half-truths or complete fallacies about software licenses, end user agreements, and monopolistic practices. Because you have the freedom to choose Dell, HP, Apple, PsyStar or any other PC vendor, means you have the freedom to buy a PC with an OS other than from Microsoft.

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

For starters, you must be a techie. For you to think that a monopoly is an absolute measurement shows that you think this way.

A monopoly is not a company that is exclusive in an industry. It's a company that has such an effective control over its industry that most people pretty much equate the company with the industry. And, as most people here point out, that's not illegal. When you use the control in one industry (OS) to project into another industry (Office), THAT is illegal. That you have competitors in the first industry is only significant if those competitors have significant mindshare and people treat the competitor as similar enough to weigh their options.

Apple's mindshare is rising enough to start to threaten the monopoly status of Microsoft. That doesn't mean that PsyStar has any bearing on it. Their mindshare is close enough to zero to make Linux on the Desktop look like a reality.

Remember: a healthy industry has two major competitors slugging each other out at about 40% marketshare each, a third competitor between 15 and 20% marketshare, largely ignored by the first two, and then a myriad of minor competitors making up the rest of the market, filling niche needs in that market. A dominated, but not monopolistic, industry has its number one company at about 60% marketshare, a number two at 30-40%, a number three company trying to get double digit percentages, and possibly a few others eeking out their living in niche markets. The desktop operating system market is not anywhere near these. Microsoft is sitting over 80%, Mac is somewhere around 5-10%, and others are filling niche roles. The server operating system market is not, from what I can tell, hugely different, though Mac and Linux might have their numbers reversed.

No, Tanktalus. It ain't a techie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27016661)


For starters, you must be a techie. For you to think that a monopoly is an absolute measurement shows that you think this way.

Be careful. It's a Micro-Bot.
(SCNR)

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27017177)

Remember: a healthy industry has two major competitors slugging each other out at about 40% marketshare each, a third competitor between 15 and 20% marketshare, largely ignored by the first two, and then a myriad of minor competitors making up the rest of the market, filling niche needs in that market. A dominated, but not monopolistic, industry has its number one company at about 60% marketshare, a number two at 30-40%, a number three company trying to get double digit percentages, and possibly a few others eeking out their living in niche markets. The desktop operating system market is not anywhere near these. Microsoft is sitting over 80%, Mac is somewhere around 5-10%, and others are filling niche roles.

From where do those percentages come?

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27018975)

Don't you know 98% of facts are made up, 50% of the time?

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

Too Much Noise (755847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27019805)

I agree with the general idea that the GP is talking nonsense (if there was any proof of Microsoft not being a monopoly in his post, it must have been really really well hidden). Some minor corrections though.

A monopoly is not a company that is exclusive in an industry. It's a company that has such an effective control over its industry that most people pretty much equate the company with the industry.

Actually, a monopoly is, technically, a company that can price its product(s) in such a way that it maximizes the operating profit (normally through underproduction) because there are no market forces that would compel it to lower prices. Meaning that the company, not the market, sets the volume and pricing for the product. Public perception is not directly relevant (although it affects things via enforcing or weakening the barriers of entry for potential competitors).

Remember: a healthy industry has two major competitors slugging each other out at about 40% marketshare each, a third competitor between 15 and 20% marketshare, largely ignored by the first two, and then a myriad of minor competitors making up the rest of the market, filling niche needs in that market. A dominated, but not monopolistic, industry has its number one company at about 60% marketshare, a number two at 30-40%, a number three company trying to get double digit percentages, and possibly a few others eeking out their living in niche markets.

Those are oligopoly examples - in the medium to long term those markets are not very healthy either, as companies will eventually engage in strategy games to maximize profit that will lessen the actual competition. Witness the collusion/price-fixing accusations against NVidia and ATi a while ago.

Anyway, a good proof of Microsoft's monopolistic power is not necessarily the fact that you have little choice in the OS you get with a computer; a much better case for it was the way Microsoft got away with the subscription change in their licensing model - customers hated it as they ended up paying more for less (for example, Microsoft promised an update interval that so far didn't quite happen; another example, many companies ended up buying licenses twice - once the company subscription and one the regular OS license for new computers with Windows preinstalled) and the company made the expected sales and profit anyway. The Linux negotiation weapon that some customers have started to bring up in recent years to force prices lower is another proof - indirect this time, as it shows the original price was set in the absence of any competitive pressure; OTOH, this also shows that Microsoft's price-setting power has finally started to decrease in some fields.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015557)

You can argue semantics about the meaning of "monopoly" all you like. You might or might not be right, but whether or not MS meets the technical definition is a distraction from the intended point. Namely, that MS have long had a blatantly unhealthy influence on the market.

Because you have the freedom to choose Dell, HP, Apple, PsyStar or any other PC vendor, means you have the freedom to buy a PC with an OS other than from Microsoft.

Unless MS abuse their market influence by bullying vendors who show signs of offering other OSs in a significant number of cases by increasing their OEM price of Windows... or withdrawing the "discounts" that their competition gets.

You imply that just because other OSs are available there is no problem. Well, if the vast majority of vendors are being coerced by MS into only offering Windows, and if a very high percentage of software and apps is only available for Windows- because it's what everyone's running, because that's what everything runs on, because.... Then IMHO there *is* a problem.

Even if they got there because people preferred MS in the early days, it wouldn't justify the fact that for a *long* time now people have chosen Windows because it's dominant in the market, not because it's the best. People buy Windows as a means to run software.

Though even that's charitably hypothetical; in reality no-one chose MS's legally-dubious, uninnovative, bought-in CP/M clone in the early days because it was the best. It got big because it first appeared on IBM's unexceptional PCs (and hence was the platform for IBM compatible software), which in turn were successful in the business field because.... well, because IBM made them. In other words, MS-DOS rode to domination on the back of IBM's domination of the market and it was self-perpetuating after that.

Your invocation of the Mozilla vs. IE situation is lame bordering on trollish. IE only comes with Windows and never came out for Linux; giving it away free encouraged its domination in the market and discouraged support of other more standard and platform-neutral browsers, hence encouraging more people to run Windows.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27016233)

The American legal definition of monopoly is based on the presence of either of the following:

  1. The ability to exclude competition
  2. the ability to fix prices

Either of both makes a monopoly. The test is a functional one, not one base on having X% of the market.

Microsoft has been determined to have a monopoly by a US Court, and to have abused it.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27015773)

If you buy a PC from PsyStar you can choose OS X or Windows

So what? Microsoft IS a monopoly because they own over 90% of Desktop computers alone. There's nothing wrong with being a monopoly until they use it illegally which they have done.

An example off the topic of my head is the bundling of DirectX10 into Vista forcing gamers to purchase a copy and then coming out with WARP10 afterwards which perfectly emulates the DX10 API in CPU.

If there were 2 competitors the same size as Microsoft then OpenGL would be the standard, wouldn't suck due to pressure to update it and this kind of situation wouldn't happen where an OS maker can dictate the direction of the games industry.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015311)

I believe the continuing Airbus / Boeing battles and accusations about protectionist strategies, public subsidies, unfair competition, etc. show that BOTH EU and US are more than happy to protect their home companies when it's useful.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (3, Interesting)

Jalfro (1025153) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014203)

Great. So Microsoft gets the US and everywhere else gets Free Software? If it wasn't for free trade, MS would never have got to Europe in the first place.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014295)

The fact of the matter is that open source, at least in the eyes of European policy makers, is about kicking the Americans out of the software business in Europe.

The name "European Digital Independence" would seem to indicate that, yes. Which makes it especially dumb for them to accept input from Microsoft.

Definitely, am supporting protectionist candidates in the United States.

Because it's always good for the US to cut its own throat just because the Europeans are cutting theirs.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014589)

ACT is not Microsoft but a Microsoft proxy. I don't think Microsoft is a member of the committee.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (4, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014305)

The fact of the matter is that open source, at least in the eyes of European policy makers, is about kicking the Americans out of the software business in Europe.

Not really.

Outside of Ireland the the UK, Microsoft is simply not as big in Europe as it is in the states. Time and again I have heard the same story. Linux shops and linux systems are simply more common in mainland Europe than Microsoft systems. Which is not to say that Microsoft systems are not there. They're just not there as much.

A lot of this is down to language and cultural barriers. A lot. It is very difficult for American companies to adapt to business on the continent. Going from an environment of 50 states with the same currency, culture and language, to 25 states with different languages, cultures, currencies (less now), and even legal systems is difficult. In North America, it's common for a franchise to expand across the entire continent at a rapid pace. I doubt there even is a franchise across the entire continent of Europe.

But, it's also true that European governments do balk at the idea of an American operating system controlling all of their computers. The English and Irish do not really see this as a problem, but I'm sure that the French view the situation as an anathema. The same goes for products like Oracle. But this is not a new development. These problems have existed for years.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (3, Informative)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014657)

Ireland offers massive tax cuts, so MIOL licenses the EMEA software sales from Ireland. Other companies do the same. The Irish economic wonder is nothing but tax dumping for multinationals from the United States, at the expense of the US tax income of course and for the benefit of Ireland.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27022033)

Well said!

And the UK's economic success was down to the offshore banking facilities it offered.

And while we're at it, the economic success of China was primarily the result of production in an economy where human rights were low on the agenda. All the cheap goods of the past thirty years or so came at a price, not the least of which was the shift of manufacturing - and the power which goes with that - away from the west, to the east.

The politicians responsible for the legislation which allowed all this to happen should be slung in jail.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27015389)

Well McDonalds is across the whole of Europe (or at least the EU), and it makes more money in the EU than it did in America. So not only is that proof that franchises dont cross the whole EU, but that American ones can also be succesful

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (4, Insightful)

vrt3 (62368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015761)

Outside of Ireland the the UK, Microsoft is simply not as big in Europe as it is in the states. Time and again I have heard the same story. Linux shops and linux systems are simply more common in mainland Europe than Microsoft systems.

What Europe are you speaking of?? I live in Western Europe (in Belgium); people, businesses and organizations use *much* more Microsoft systems than Linux systems. If you go to the store and buy a PC, it comes with Windows preinstalled. At work, our file/database/mail server runs Linux, but all the desktops run Windows. I know that many small businesses are like that, and that there are also a lot that are 100% Microsoft. Many people still don't realize that the computing world is larger than Microsoft alone (that is starting to change now, but more because of Apple than because of Linux).

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024531)

Belgium's pretty typical of most of Western Europe in my experience. Windows dominates the desktop at home and in the workplace (around 90%) just about everywhere, with Linux mostly being found in server rooms and universities. Macs are growing their market share quickly, partly because of the iPod / iPhone "halo effect", but the fact that both iPod and iPhone penetration levels are much lower than in the US means that the halo effect is less pronounced, so Macs typically have around half their US share of typical Western European markets (about 5% to 6%).

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (4, Interesting)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014309)

Money has no homeland.

Microsoft is a multinational, it has employees and shareholders all around the world. The shareholders don't give a fuck about the USA or any other country.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27014757)

you would change your mind if your local banks owned by foreign ones pumped the cash out of your country to save HQ's ass during the economic crisis.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1, Informative)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014591)

Microsoft is one of 59 members of the Association for Competitive Technology
[1] [actonline.org] . The only victim here is the readership of Slashdot. There is a concerted campaign here to slate Microsoft regardless of any basis in reality.

Wikileaks claims the president of the ACT has strong ties to Microsoft, but only provides the ironically named, unsourced open-access Wiki, SourceWatch[2] [sourcewatch.org] , as evidence for this latest smear campaign.

This is not the work of Microsoft. This lobbying was perpetrated by the software industry in general. People round here fail to see, for reasons unbeknown to me, that Microsoft is not exceptionally evil as corporations go.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015099)

People round here fail to see, for reasons unbeknown to me, that Microsoft is not exceptionally evil as corporations go.

Well, there's Union Carbide, who killed thousands of Indians and whose CEO is still on India's most wanted fugitive list.

There's Haliburton.

There's Sony and their XCP rootkit.

There's Purina, who was too cheap to put doors on an elevator and my grandfather went four stories down without an elevator car, carrying two 100 lb sacks of grain. I absolutely HATE them, as you might possibly understand (and it was 50 years ago this year).

There's that chicken company that burned up all those minimum wage workers because they chained the fire doors shut.

There's the peanut place that killed a few people and sickened thousands.

Then there's the oil industry.

There's the banks, giving million dollar bonuses to the people who are running them into the ground. All of these are more evil than Microsoft.

And the fact that few corporations pay any US Federal Income tax at all is pretty evil, too. Does MS pay Federal Income Tax?

But just because everyone else if evil doen't give you an escuse to be, too. Waht did your mother say about all your friends jumping off a bridge?

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (0, Offtopic)

homer_s (799572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015345)

And the fact that few corporations pay any US Federal Income tax at all ...

Huh? Where do you get your 'facts' from?

There's the banks, giving million dollar bonuses to the people who are running them into the ground.

And there's the US govt. that gives billions to those same banks.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015395)

Of course the widespread prevalence of wrongdoing doesn't excuse Microsoft's transgressions - whatever they may be, but I'm willing to bet that most of those who cut their nose off to spite their face by foregoing the use of Microsoft tools on moral grounds, are happy using banks, cars, chemicals of all kinds and are perfectly content in consuming the products of multinational corporations. The criticism Microsoft receive in certain circles is grossly disproportionate.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27016793)

Well it also gets down to what directly affects you and what you care personally about. If one is a FOSS developer or user than MS suing a manufacturer who uses LInux with a really crappy patent is going to provoke outrage. We toil in this particular vineyard so MS' transgressions are going to be particularly noticed.

There's Haliburton ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27021681)

" ...Thanks to you today I work for Halliburton, a company which is perfectly inline with my values. "

www.oilcareer.com

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27016639)

People round here fail to see, for reasons unbeknown to me, that Microsoft is not exceptionally evil as corporations go.

That would be a catchy little quatrain if it weren't for the word Microsoft (somehow fitting).


People 'round here fail to see
for reasons unbeknownst to me,
that MS aren't especially
evil as corporations go.
:)

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (3, Informative)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27018175)

Microsoft is a protectionist company that combats freedom of governments to promote open source, interoperability and a free market, it does so simply because its business strategy is protectionism and lockin.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#27019023)

Microsoft is one of 59 members of the Association for Competitive Technology.
The only victim here is the readership of Slashdot. There is a concerted campaign here to slate Microsoft regardless of any basis in reality.
[1] [actonline.org] [actonline.org]

That's disingenuous at best.

Microsoft may be one of 59, but most of the rest are Microsoft partners.

To pick only the headlined companies:

These smaller, entrepreneurial technology firms like Sax Software, ComponentSource and EnsuredMail have long been the driving force behind innovation and job growth in the industry.

  • Sax Software; Microsoft VB and ActiveX tools.
  • ComponentSource; Microsoft WinForms, ASP.NET, WPF and Silverlight tools & controls.
  • EnsuredMail; Microsoft Outlook mail filter.

See any pattern there?

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (4, Insightful)

Gorath99 (746654) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014777)

Oh come on, you're blowing this way out of proportion.

Right now, the EU is highly dependent on proprietary software from the US. Is it really so strange that they don't like this? No country likes to be dependent on another country for essential goods. It's not much different from the US disliking their dependence on foreign oil.

And rather than demanding non-US software, the EU just wants guarantees in the form of less restrictive licensing (open source). Does this make it easier for other countries to compete? Yes, it does. Does it mean that the US is disadvantaged? No, it doesn't. As long as the US produces quality software for a reasonable price, the EU will keep buying.

Oh, and for the record: I'm an EU citizen who is employed by a major US software house.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015821)

Heck - I don't even want to be dependent on a single vendor, much less a country.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27020879)

Oh come on, you're blowing this way out of proportion.

sorry, I'm watching two more American companies on the verge of going belly up, all in the name of this so-called free trade. I've heard all of these promises of free trade for 30 years, believed in it, and now its failing. I'm sick of it. Trade ideas, not goods.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (3, Insightful)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014843)

I thought there were open source based companies in America too. I also thought there were plans to increase adoption of open source in public administrations in America too. Finally, I thought America already had a host of protectionist measures in place for several economic sectors.

Basically, what the hell are you talking about?

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27018185)

Free software is about freedom, lock-in is about market protectionism.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#27016165)

Senseless: it doesnt work this way because america COULD if she WANTED be the biggest FOSS engine in the world and still kick into the european market.

You confuse microsoft with your country: What a shame.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27017445)

You confuse microsoft with your country: What a shame.

Well put. What an idiot.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27016597)

no it is not about kicking out americans, just the MAFIA that ;Microsoft, Accenture and so many more conglomerates reporesent

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (3, Insightful)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 5 years ago | (#27016743)

The fact that a huge number of the big players in open source (Novell, Sun, Red Hat, Xandros, IBM, the Free Software Foundation, Google, Mozilla, et al) are American or America-based should be the first big sign that protectionism would be a daft name for it.

You could see it as a stimulus for Europe, seeing as many of the best proprietary companies are American or Japanese. But ultimately FOSS is completely anti-protectionist; if the intellectual property is impossible to control (thanks to the licensing), how can you use it to lock out foreign competitors?

Ultimately, it's just the EU not liking being at the mercy of a foreign monopoly. Makes just as much sense as the US trying to ween itself off of foreign oil.

Re:Could rewrite, EU tries to kick Americans out. (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27017419)

So, somebody decides to use a free alternative that fulfills all of their needs instead of paying you for your product, and you call that "kicking Americans out?"

Sounds to me like they decided to start using their noggins to think. Maybe we here in America should do that too, and stop paying for nothing.

I don't see how this makes "free trade" a failure, though. OSS is a free alternative to overpriced proprietary code. "Free trade" is what enables them to decide to choose the better product; "free trade" doesn't mean that people have to pay you for your overpriced junk. It means they're free to make a choice.

Please don't support protectionist candidates. You'll make the outsourcing problem worse than it already is by voting for total boobs who want to jack up minimum wage and drive business out of the country with pseudo-communist anti-competitive policies.

Protectionism is not free trade, it's control. The EU deciding to use the better, cheaper product is not a free trade violation. It is an example of free trade doing what it is supposed to do -- improve the consumer's real income.

A World Wide Republican Revolution. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023501)

Please don't support protectionist candidates. You'll make the outsourcing problem worse than it already is by voting for total boobs who want to jack up minimum wage and drive business out of the country with pseudo-communist anti-competitive policies.

I'm supporting protectionist candidates and I might well become one. I am going to take the Republican Party and turn it into an anti-globalization, protectionist regime and let the world understand that the people who condemn conservatives as the luddites are the very bankers and governments that want to sweep away all local traditions and customs in favor of some UN Mandated, EU Commission like body of arrogant bureacrats whose only concern for the so-called working man is a disdainful accounting of how much he can be used as a political chip.

If the socialist revolution that drives the left wing can be worldwide, then so too can the Republican Revolution. When we argue that Americans should drive their own cars, we will also reach out and argue that French should too, and Germans, and British. We will argue for a world where if you want to be a Pennsylvanian you can be one, and we will probably get the French on our side, by saying, that France should be French.

No more RINO free traders!

Groklaw is down, due to coverage of MS vs TomTom? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27013957)

Groklaw (www.groklaw.net) is down, due to coverage of Microsoft vs TomTom? Or, is it just a coincidence?

Why? (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27013969)

It should be obvious by now that proprietary, off-the-shelf, software is on its way out. Off-the-shelf software only amounts for around 10% of the total software production, and the bespoke market has always avoided proprietary solutions where possible, to avoid vendor lock-in. Microsoft, with its huge armies of developers and vast collections of existing tools could easily own a huge chunk of the bespoke market, so why are they fighting the transition so hard? Is there some kind of long-term plan, or are they just hoping to turn back the clock?

Re:Why? (1)

grimw (1253370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014145)

I think you're mistaken about proprietary software being on the way out. We haven't had a "Year-of-the-Linux-desktop" yet, and some proprietary software is just plain better than FOSS alternatives, if a FOSS alternative even exists.

I don't think most companies are ever going to innovate on a FOSS platform, because there isn't any real money there. Innovation is driven by money, and people want it. FOSS, thus far, has typtically shown itself to be promising when commoditizing solutions.

Not to say that I don't love FOSS applications. I have a FreeBSD NAS/router I built at home, and I use lots of FOSS components on my systems. However, some of the coolest new apps I see are proprietary, at least until a good FOSS alternative is released, in which case it's no longer new.

At work we also use lots of FOSS, but we also use lots of proprietary tech. I think the real value comes by using both to get the best of both worlds, and I think most people in the world that care about staying on top think this way as well.

Re:Why? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27016105)

I think you're mistaken about proprietary software being on the way out. We haven't had a "Year-of-the-Linux-desktop" yet, and some proprietary software is just plain better than FOSS alternatives, if a FOSS alternative even exists.

"Year of the Linux desktop" is a red herring. Linux doesn't have to be on a desktop to gain marketshare. That route worked for Windows (although arguably it had just as much to do with riding the commodity hardware wave - something FOSS does as well). But it's not the only route to invade the Industry.

Of course, for me the "year of the Linux desktop" was years ago. And because of this, I'd like to see it more widespread. Mainly because you are right - there are some proprietary software that has no equivalent. I'd really like the option of buying said software and running it on my platform of choice. But that's not really anything more than a personal wish.

Back in my professional walk, I find solutions with fewer options really, really have to shine to warrent consideration. If they have decent competitors, the one that enables me to pick my platform gets a big boost.

I don't think most companies are ever going to innovate on a FOSS platform, because there isn't any real money there. Innovation is driven by money, and people want it. FOSS, thus far, has typtically shown itself to be promising when commoditizing solutions.

Yeah. We're never going to see a Tivo, TomTom, or Google. We're never going to see the various private architectures I've supported for my employers. Just not going to happen.

At work we also use lots of FOSS, but we also use lots of proprietary tech. I think the real value comes by using both to get the best of both worlds, and I think most people in the world that care about staying on top think this way as well.

I also use a lot of FOSS and a mix of proprietary. I always give the FOSS solutions additional points in any given consideration. I hate being beholden to any given vendor for numerous reasons. FOSS gives me options that proprietary solutions rarely (if ever) provide. But there are times that a proprietary solution is just too good to pass up. We will then risk it and deal with the risk involved (sometimes we never have to worry about it, sometimes we get bitten).

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014227)

It should be obvious by now that proprietary, off-the-shelf, software is on its way out. Off-the-shelf software only amounts for around 10% of the total software production

Um, what? proprietary software is nowhere near being on its last elbows my friend. Ok the old model of sale of software as a product is getting, well, old, and software as a service is taking off.

Open source is suited for that, but companies providing such services are managing quite well with proprietary code too. I know of several that mix open source and closed source in their product quite happily. Its not a problem, provided no licence terms are broken, and to be frank its not hard to manage that.

As for Microsoft? Anyone who thinks they'll just say 'oh, we lost, time to pack up and go home' is out of their tiny mind. A company with a turnover and product range like theirs isn't going away any time soon.

Re:Why? (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015129)

And Software as a Service is also as proprietary as it gets.

Now you don't even own the hardware anymore and can't even try to fix something on your own.

Re:Why? (1)

anarxia (651289) | more than 5 years ago | (#27021953)

I think you missed the parent's point. he way I read it is that proprietary off-the-self software is on its way out not proprietary software as a whole.

I also believe that this particular subset of proprietary software is in danger because off-the-shelf software tend to be generic and it's more likely that open-source software will perform the same task.

The more generic the open-source software, the more contributors it's likely to have. Over time it will have similar or better quality and more features than its proprietary counterparts.

There are numerous examples of this.

Re:Why? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014349)

On its way out? Hardly. People want to buy a packaged, ready to go product. ESPECIALLY when the mantra is "Works for me. NOTABUG", and "You have the source, YOU fix it"

Re:Why? (1)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014415)

Now if only there were companies who sold support for FOSS-based systems. I think they could maybe call themselves... Red Hat... or Novel... or IBM...

Re:Why? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014911)

Sure. When is the last time you saw a product from RedHat or Novell or even IBM on the shelf at, say, Best Buy?

Re:Why? (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015875)

When's the last time you went shopping for enterprise / business software at Best Buy?

Re:Why? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27018059)

Well, it happens... [thedailywtf.com]

So (0, Flamebait)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014025)

How long will it be before we get a long, tedious series of posts from team "I'm not ideological, I just use what is best for the job"(never mind that short-term pragmatism is an ideology)?

Re:So (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014353)

short-term pragmatism is an ideology

This is closely akin to the "empiricism is an ideology" canard that gets thrown around a lot in debates on science, and it's just as specious. Yes, you can build elaborate ideological arguments in favor of pragmatism and empiricism, but you really don't have to -- they are distinct from all other ideologies in that they're the only ones we're born with. Have you ever seen any evidence that babies are anything other than empirical pragmatists?

Note: I am not saying that as adults, we should all act like babies. I'm simply saying that calling instinctive behavior "ideological" is kind of silly.

Re:So (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014571)

I see plenty of empirical evidence that proponents of all ideologies believe their ideology is "special", and most seem to believe there are empirical evidence that their ideology is what we are "born with".

Personally I'm a rational empiricist and a long term pragmatist, and I see plenty of evidence that children are neither empiricists, not pragmatists (in any time-frame). They have to learn the hard way that the universe does not bend to their whims (wishing doesn't make true) as part of growing up. In fact, most of them never really accept it deep down and continue to believe in invisible forces who make wishing come true, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Re:So (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014713)

I'd argue that there is slightly more to it than that. In a situation where, in at least some cases, bearing short term costs can yield long term benefits and short term benefits can yield long term costs, adopting a policy of looking only at the short term "what works" is ideological.

There are, certainly, circumstances where one can chose the short or long view equally pragmatically, depending on the relative costs; but the custom of treating the short view as self-evident common sense and the long view as loony ideological stuff is dubious at best.

CompTIA, ACT and the BSA, .. (4, Informative)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014055)

'Microsoft leaned on [silicon.com] EC to spike open source report'

'One might ask, "Who are these lobbyists? [linuxjournal.com] ", so let's take a closer look'

My bad luck... I *WAS* on a plane reading Slashdot (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27014119)

I was on a plane reading Slashdot on my iPhone... the first headline came up "How To Hijack ..." and the air marshal in the seat next to me karate-chopped my neck and now I'm in Gitmo.
Thanks a lot Slashdot.
oh, by the way...can someone call me a lawyer?

Re:My bad luck... I *WAS* on a plane reading Slash (4, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014549)

oh, by the way...can someone call me a lawyer?

OK, you're a lawyer.

Re:My bad luck... I *WAS* on a plane reading Slash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27019457)

Hahahahaha... what a pathetic joke!!

"blending" (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014269)

You mean, like with LGPL? I'm all for it.

EU should get out of this (0, Troll)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014293)

This is like the EU deciding what oil individuals should use in all their cars.

The decision to use open source is not a governmental decision. If a government says to me "build a bridge from point A to point B," then I decide what piece of software is best for calculating the mass of the bridge. I can use an open source product, or a closed source product. But it would be absurd for my decision to be affected by what some guy in another country, who has no idea what software is, to make that decision for me.

Re:EU should get out of this (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014407)

"This is like the EU deciding what oil individuals should use in all their cars"

As distinct from CompTIA, ACT and the BSA ...

Re:EU should get out of this (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014497)

This may come as a shock to you, but real governments (i.e., governments unlike the US government of the last eight years) don't just make sweetheart deals with private contractors. They actually do a lot of work themselves, and very often, software is involved in the process. When it comes to wise use of citizens' tax dollars (or euros, as the case may be) finding OSS solutions which can replace expensive proprietary software is pretty high on the list.

Re:EU should get out of this (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27019509)

Closed source software does not pollute the environment. That analogy is totally irrelevant on anyplace other than slashdot.

Re:EU should get out of this (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27019535)

GAH! My other post was meant to be in reply to someone else. Doh!

finding OSS solutions which can replace expensive proprietary software is pretty high on the list.

I 100% agree! You seem to think I am arguing against open source. I'm not: I'm arguing against forcing technical decisions through legislation.

Part of the problem is because if you open up that can of worms, odds are that open source guy loses. Politicians will legislate solutions based on who can fly them to Aruba for "technology training" and who can line their pockets.

If you want open source, then use it. And convince your boss. Not your president's president.

Re:EU should get out of this (2, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014763)

This is like the EU deciding what oil individuals should use in all their cars.

Your opinion of this would certainly change if you had the choice between buying Shell oil (they get to set all their own prices) and growing/making all the oil you need in your own backyard. You would be screaming about anti-competitiveness, Monopolies, etc..

Re:EU should get out of this (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015553)

good point. when the government is paying to have something done, the outcome is all that matters. Included in the outcome are: the results, the cost of achieving the results, the time taken to achieve the results (possibly considered a cost). Among costs are: dollars spent, capital expended, laws broken, environment damaged, etc., etc.

Specifying: "An open document format must be used for all reports" makes sense. Specifying what software is used to create that document is improper other than stipulating the format it must produce. Choices of whether to use open source or proprietary software should only factor into the 'cost' portion of the decision process. Nowhere else.

U.S. Navy issued a policy a couple years back on using OSS. In short, it enabled procurement officers to consider OSS as commercial, off-the-shelf products when obtaining comparative assessments for a purchase decision. I.e., when buying software, OSS alternatives must factor into the alternative cost-benefit analysis (recognizing that free does not equal cost free).

Now, tons of proprietary software is still used in the navy. But, the option is there if the cost/benefit analysis says its the right thing.

Re:EU should get out of this (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27019537)

Thank you. Mandating open standards makes perfect sense. Along with mandating that government research be made open.

Re:EU should get out of this (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27018011)

If a government says to me "build a bridge from point A to point B,"

Presumably that's not the Alaskan government.

Re:EU should get out of this (1)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 5 years ago | (#27024869)

"This is like the EU deciding what oil individuals should use in all their cars."

Except of course for the fact that nothing in the current strategy is concerned with citizens or companies, and nothing in any proposed future ones will have an effect on them either. The existing EU open source strategy is solely concerned with software the European Commission uses internally, with the document that all the current furore is about being a proposal for future legislation concerning procurement policies in other EU institutions and national / local governments in member states.

"The decision to use open source is not a governmental decision."

The decision to use open source within a government is very much a decision for that government.

"If a government says to me "build a bridge from point A to point B," then I decide what piece of software is best for calculating the mass of the bridge. I can use an open source product, or a closed source product."

And you'll still be able to make that decision under both current and proposed future EU legislation. The only limitation will be that you'll have to use software that's capable of working with the same data as the government you're contracted by, and if your chosen closed source software can't do that, then it's your problem if they pass you over for a company who is willing to use software that's compatible with theirs.

"But it would be absurd for my decision to be affected by what some guy in another country, who has no idea what software is, to make that decision for me."

Then it's a good thing that they're not proposing to make your decisions for you.

To make things clear:

-- The proposals do not place any limits on any proprietary closed source software vendor's ability to offer their products at at retail or via OEMs.

-- They do not limit any proprietary closed source software vendor's ability to sell corporate volume licenses to companies under any terms that both sides are willing to accept (subject of course to whatever contract and other laws may be applicable).

Name change (1)

bertramwooster (763417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27014471)

They should just call themselves "Association for Dealing with Competitive Technology."

"Open Source" could go the way of "Organic" (3, Interesting)

bagofbeans (567926) | more than 5 years ago | (#27015061)

In the US, "Organic" used to mean untarnished by nasties. The Big Food lobby got "Organic" re-defined to mean mostly untarnished. Now "100% Organic" means totally untarnished. So maybe soon we'll have "100% Open Source" (as supported by Mr Stallman) vs the new "Open Source" with proprietary lock-ware in it.

Re:"Open Source" could go the way of "Organic" (4, Insightful)

lucas_picador (862520) | more than 5 years ago | (#27017223)

So maybe soon we'll have "100% Open Source" (as supported by Mr Stallman) vs the new "Open Source" with proprietary lock-ware in it.

As you point out, this was exactly Stallman's main beef with "open source": once you start talking about "openness" instead of "freedom", you open yourself up to all kinds of redefinitions and goalpost-moving. If I hold the standard at one that preserves "freedom", then all the Microsoft-style "open code" nonsense is quickly revealed as the trap that it is.

Re:"Open Source" could go the way of "Organic" (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#27018859)

all the Microsoft-style "open code" nonsense is quickly revealed as the trap that it is.

I'm not sure what you mean here. Microsoft has always been careful to refer to its products which have source code opened under a non-FLOSS license as "shared source" (which, IMO, conveys the difference pretty well). MS also has several proper FLOSS licenses, certified as such by OSI and FSF. I haven't heard of anything like "open code".

Re:"Open Source" could go the way of "Organic" (1)

bagofbeans (567926) | more than 5 years ago | (#27018999)

In my mind, the difficulty is ensuring that code marked "free" (to modify, redistribute, sell, and so on) isn't polluted by code involving patents. Just because the main players have signed agreements to prevent that, it doesn't mean that there isn't some submarine patent filed by a 3rd party.

patents are not a big problem (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27023253)

In my mind, the difficulty is ensuring that code marked "free" (to modify, redistribute, sell, and so on) isn't polluted by code involving patents

Free software, like proprietary software, inadvertently violates patents; that's just a fact and it's unavoidable. But so what? The worst that seems to happen in practice is that a judge orders the patented invention to be removed and people add a workaround.

If by "pollution" you mean "deliberate introduction", that's even less of a problem: source code is usually tracked openly. If the patent holder or one of their minions introduces a patented invention, they automatically donate them to the project under open source licenses (thank you). Third parties usually have no motivation to introduce someone else's patented inventions into an open source project. If they do, it's no worse than an accidental introduction.

And for situations like Tom Tom, it really doesn't matter either: Microsoft would have tried to screw Tom Tom whether they use Linux or whether they use some proprietary embedded operating system, and they don't need Linux-related patents to do it. The only way for Tom Tom not to get sued by Microsoft would have been to sell their soul to Microsoft from the start, pay hefty licensing fees, and build their systems on Windows CE.

Re:"Open Source" could go the way of "Organic" (1)

grendelb (309720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27022305)

Yes, Eric S Raymond championed the new buzz-phrase "Open Source" over RMS's "Free Software."

See the mini-essay titled "Goodbye, 'free software'; hello, 'open source'" at http://www.catb.org/~esr/open-source.html [catb.org]

P.S. These days, look for "Oregon Tilth Organic" if you're looking for the old meaning of organic.

Re:"Open Source" could go the way of "Organic" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27024249)

No

it meant chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon.

then the sandal wearing hippies redefined it to mean a bit muddy and 20% more expensive

WikiLeaks Needs Donations (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27019043)

WikiLeaks could run out of money before they get their next funding in September. They're asking for money [wikileaks.com] to keep running their essential service in the meantime:

The Sunshine Press (Wikileaks) is in a dire financial position.

        We need your letter of support.

        Although we expect to receive some $2M in funding later this year,
        there has been no formal funding since last year.

        This organization's positive world impact has never been
        higher, but it is, as a consequence, also more expensive run and
        ran out of formal funding four months ago. Since that time our staff
        and lawyers have funded the entire organization from their modest
        personal savings and anyone else they can find to assist.

        The reason that impartial, revelatory investigative journalism has
        been traditionally funded by readers is that governments and
        billionaires alike will not support groups which are tasked to
        expose and reform them.

        Despite being universally recognized as being the most important
        stimulus of democratic reforms, government funding for
        such organizations is non-existent. At the same time organizations
        which are guaranteed to have no domestic political impact are well funded.

        On-line donations, an important buttress to our ability to take on
        all governments and companies with total independence, have amounted
        to around $10,000 since the beginning of the year. Costs outside
        of court actions are almost $400,000 per year.

        Our $2M funding injection later this year will support a radical expansion
        of our mission. Until then, your support, and that of your friends and
        colleagues, will mean the difference between continuing to
        fight the good fight and shutting down.

        If you support our work or have benefited from our cause, please
        write a strong letter of recommendation we can to present to
        additional funding bodies. You may examine our front page or google
        news for ideas.

        Also consider an easy on-line donation; every contribution, no
        matter how small, will directly extend the number of months and
        days we can continue taking on the world:

https://secure.wikileaks.org/ [wikileaks.org]

Send support letters to wl-supporters@sunshinepress.org [mailto]

Thank you.

just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27021257)

dropped them a mail asking if they're ready for the usual DOS attack. i interpreted their answer as yes.

80/tcp open http AOLserver httpd 4.0.3

*grin*

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?