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Casio Paying Microsoft To Use Linux

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the you-never-get-rid-of-the-dane dept.

Businesses 262

theodp writes "Will Tux be a rainmaker for Microsoft? GeekWire reports that Microsoft has struck a deal with Casio to provide Casio's customers with coverage for their use of Linux in Casio devices. The agreement, which calls for Microsoft to receive payments of an undisclosed amount, is an implicit acknowledgment of Microsoft's longstanding claims that Linux violates its patents, an assertion that members of the open-source community have long disputed."

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Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37461656)

microsoft is copying the old ibm way of getting money for nothing

Re:Microsoft (2)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 years ago | (#37461678)

as long as they don't get chicks for free.

It'll be hard for them to prove so long after the fact - yes, there may be parts of device drivers that have been illegally reverse engineered, but Linux itself has stood the test of time, I think. If it really WAS infringing, the lawsuits should have been flying left and right a decade or more ago.

Re:Microsoft (2)

Quartus486 (935104) | about 3 years ago | (#37461766)

No. Even if they are infringing, there's no point in revealing them, because the second they do that it's possible to work something out to go around them. It's better not to go with a lawsuit and milk some money year after year...

Re:Microsoft (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 3 years ago | (#37462750)

If it really WAS infringing, the lawsuits should have been flying left and right a decade or more ago.

They seem to turn a blind eye to desktop use of Linux and go after commercial implementations embedded in devices. They also do not have a policy of using the courts first, but rather they attempt to negotiate deals like this Casio one.

My guess is that Casio wants to use long file names using FAT32 [microsoft.com] .

Re:Microsoft (1)

PNutts (199112) | about 3 years ago | (#37462896)

Yes, we need to be brothers in arms against this or we'll end up in dire straits.

Re:Microsoft (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#37462480)

there is a big difference, IBM makes quality products people respect

Re:Microsoft (1)

priceslasher (2102064) | about 3 years ago | (#37463216)

Your last 10 not-even-particularly-inflammatory comments (perhaps more) all have a 0 score. What causes that?

How much money does Casio have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37461660)

If they can pay Microsoft to use Linux, that must be a few trillion dollars, considering Microsoft makes Windows.

not the only reason for payment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37461674)

I pay your mom to lick my asshole clean, but it's not an implicit acknowledgement of her patents. And giving her a half-eaten cheeseburger isn't much of a payment.

A good sign (4, Insightful)

drolli (522659) | about 3 years ago | (#37461682)

i translates to:

we dont use linux because its free of cost but because we believe it does a better job in the areas not protected by microsoft patents than microsoft os and believe a little overpaying in these areas is good for our customers.

Re:A good sign (3, Insightful)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 3 years ago | (#37461740)

Ha ha, good point.

Does not change the fact that Microsoft is running an arguably illegal protection racket.

Re:A good sign (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | about 3 years ago | (#37461784)

Oh, and I do not doubt that Linux does a better job in all areas, including areas "protected" by Microsoft patents[1].
---
[1] According to Microsoft.

Re:A good sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37461802)

What is illegal about it?
It sucks and is is unethical and immoral, but it seems to be legal. They are not giving you protection for patents, but from their patent lawyers. Who will sue if you infringe or not, just avoiding the cost of the lawsuit is what this protection buys you.

Re:A good sign (2)

rhook (943951) | about 3 years ago | (#37461918)

Look up "extortion" sometime.

Re:A good sign (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37461948)

Except what they are doing is not unlawful. Nice try, though, little freetard.

Re:A good sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462192)

Microsoft should not be allowed to say anything about copyright without showing their sources first, so we too can see how much they have copied from Linux. You think being closetard is much better?

Re:A good sign (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | about 3 years ago | (#37462642)

Except what they are doing is not unlawful. Nice try, though, little freetard.

There's no way to say whether it is or it isn't unlawful without a long and expensive court case. But that doesn't mean it's not unlawful - it just means the court case would cost more than paying off the standover man.

Re:A good sign (2)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about 3 years ago | (#37461940)

How is this any different from a thug standing in your business entry way saying, "It would be a terrible shame if something were to happen to this nice business you have here. If you pay me a small monthly fee, I'll do my best to make sure nothing happens. Otherwise, hey, it's a rough neighborhood. You never know what might happen."

The effect is the same, is it not? The thugs get money for nothing: just the promise of "protection". If MS at least outlined to Casio exactly what patents they wouldn't sue over, then it might carry more legitimacy. As it is, it smacks of little more than, "Hey, it's a rough neighborhood..."

Re:A good sign (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 3 years ago | (#37462152)

Start here [wikipedia.org] .

While there is no implied threat of violence, there is the implied threat of severe fiscal damage, which to a company is just as damaging as an arson job on one of their factories would be.

(...and it's shit like this where I would love to see a "loser pays" system apply to any corporation that sues *anybody* else.)

Re:A good sign (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37462322)

How exactly is it a protection racket? For example, any file system that Windows can read and write without installing obscure installable file systems is patented. NTFS is patented, and modern versions of FAT are patented.

Re:A good sign (1)

gregfortune (313889) | about 3 years ago | (#37462576)

Microsoft is implying that it will sue and extorting money to protect against that possibility.

"Hey Johnny... You wanna do business on this block, just remember that windows get broken from time to time by... well.. let's just say people. Pay us and we'll make sure you personally don't have a rock thrown through your window."

Pretend I did a mobster impression.

The expected behavior of a patent holder (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37462732)

Microsoft is implying that it will sue and extorting money to protect against that possibility.

Which differs from the expected behavior of the lawful owner of an exclusive right in what way? What you call "extortion" they call "selling a license".

Re:The expected behavior of a patent holder (1)

gregfortune (313889) | about 3 years ago | (#37462836)

I think it's the lawful owner part that's in question.

Re:The expected behavior of a patent holder (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 3 years ago | (#37462876)

So why hasn't MS gone to court about any of it?

Re:The expected behavior of a patent holder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37463230)

maybe ownership of rights is a bogus concept. everyone has rights.. they are inalienable. this would force people to build business that has natural scarcity.. this would benefit everyone.

Re:A good sign (5, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | about 3 years ago | (#37463240)

Because MS refuses to name any patent that is violated, but will only mumble that there are (may be) a few. They then demand money to make sure nothing bad (like attack of the lawyers) happens to you.

Unlike legitimate insurance, if anything were to "happen", it would be deliberate on MSs part.

How is it NOT like a protection racket?

Re:A good sign (1)

syousef (465911) | about 3 years ago | (#37462336)

Ha ha, good point.

Does not change the fact that Microsoft is running an arguably illegal protection racket.

I just had a mental image of Clippy popping up on my desktop. "It appears you haven't paid for protection this month. Would you like to: A) Pay up now B) Have someone sent round to break your kneecaps".

Re:A good sign (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 years ago | (#37462632)

Almost anything to do with patents these days is a protection racket.

Re:A good sign (2)

Jonner (189691) | about 3 years ago | (#37461760)

i translates to:

we dont use linux because its free of cost but because we believe it does a better job in the areas not protected by microsoft patents than microsoft os and believe a little overpaying in these areas is good for our customers.

But it's bad because every deal like this strengthens the perceived validity of Microsoft's patent trolling efforts, which may hurt anyone not willing to pay a Microsoft tax.

Re:A good sign (0, Troll)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 years ago | (#37461970)

Or, you know, these companies might not be as stupid as Slashtards would want to believe and have vetted these patents and have come to the conclusion that they are valid? No, that couldn't possibly be it.

Re:A good sign (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462014)

Unlikely since they haven't been vetted in a court so your speculative reply is well ... exactly that. Until they are.

Feel free to repost once that has happened.

rgds

Re:A good sign (0)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 years ago | (#37462902)

Unlikely since they haven't been vetted in a court so your speculative reply is well ... exactly that. Until they are.

Because you think they didn't have their own lawyers look at the patents? No clearly companies like Casio, HTC, etc are just dumb. If only they had such brilliant slashtards as yourself in charge they clearly wouldn't make these dumb decisions with absolutely no research at all.

Feel free to repost once that has happened.

I don't need to. The fact that all these companies are licensing these patents rather than fighting them lends credence to the fact that these companies probably think these patents are valid. HTC, for example, isn't one to shy down from patent fights when they think they can win.

Re:A good sign (1)

Jonner (189691) | about 3 years ago | (#37462644)

Or, you know, these companies might not be as stupid as Slashtards would want to believe and have vetted these patents and have come to the conclusion that they are valid? No, that couldn't possibly be it.

Just out of curiosity, what's a Slashtard? It couldn't possibly mean someone who posts on Slashdot, could it? Microsoft is a patent troll and should not be accommodated in their abuses regardless of the what the USPTO has said since the patents which are claimed to apply to software like Linux should never have been granted in the first place. In addition, no court has decided that any Microsoft patent applies to Linux, though Microsoft has sued a number of companies claiming that. This, like much use of patents today, is extortion independent of whether patents on software should be allowed.

Re:A good sign (0)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 years ago | (#37462938)

Microsoft is a patent troll and should not be accommodated in their abuses regardless of the what the USPTO has said since the patents which are claimed to apply to software like Linux should never have been granted in the first place.

Based on what exactly? Your word?

In addition, no court has decided that any Microsoft patent applies to Linux, though Microsoft has sued a number of companies claiming that.

Great, I never claimed any court has made such a decision. The point is that these companies aren't just stupidly licensing these patents without having their lawyers look into it. Like I posted above, HTC isn't one that shies away from patent fights so if even they are licensing them it gives lots of credence to the fact that they are most likely valid. Or how else do you explain how they are more than willing to take Apple on in patent suits yet they licensed the ones from Microsoft without any fight?

Re:A good sign (1, Informative)

Jonner (189691) | about 3 years ago | (#37463068)

Microsoft is a patent troll and should not be accommodated in their abuses regardless of the what the USPTO has said since the patents which are claimed to apply to software like Linux should never have been granted in the first place.

Based on what exactly? Your word?

My opinions are influenced by those of many smarter and more knowledgeable than I am. If you're not aware of the reasons software patents are harmful, you may have been living under a rock. Here's [endsoftpatents.org] a good place to start in that case. Though it's not specific to software patents, This American Life [thisamericanlife.org] has an excellent program about the current patent mess that is accessible to anyone.

In addition, no court has decided that any Microsoft patent applies to Linux, though Microsoft has sued a number of companies claiming that.

Great, I never claimed any court has made such a decision. The point is that these companies aren't just stupidly licensing these patents without having their lawyers look into it. Like I posted above, HTC isn't one that shies away from patent fights so if even they are licensing them it gives lots of credence to the fact that they are most likely valid. Or how else do you explain how they are more than willing to take Apple on in patent suits yet they licensed the ones from Microsoft without any fight?

I won't pretend to know what any of those companies should do to maximize profits in the short term. The fact that Casio, HTC and many others have yielded to patent trolls is a symptom of a deeply broken system. Even if it's in Casio's interest to make this deal with Microsoft right now, it helps keep in place a status quo that is an obstacle to innovation and therefore a financial drain on the entire industry.

Re:A good sign (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37461912)

"Undisclosed amount". $1 ? That would be all they would need. Some horse-trading: agree this and we'll give you a discount on some other deal we are doing, and then we can publicize it. Then it looks to everyone else that our patent claims are valid. Stories like this serve to frighten people, making them afraid of Microsoft's lawyers - if you use linux not windows, we will come after you.

Re:A good sign (1)

Junta (36770) | about 3 years ago | (#37462024)

It says very little good actually. Casio undoubtedly has a lot of sunk cost in using Linux, therefore there is nothing to say that they wouldn't have chosen Windows from the start if they knew they'd do this. It also could mean casio agreed to pay some pittance to give MS some ammunition in exchange for some other consideration. In other words, there is no unambiguous endorsement of Linux as 'better' to be had.

However, it does say that through legal intimidation large companies can bully their way into revenue without actually doing work.

Misread (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 3 years ago | (#37461688)

The subject line read to me that microsft employees were being paid to use Linux.

I was wondering where I could sign up for the same deal.

Re:Misread (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 3 years ago | (#37461862)

The subject line read to me that microsft employees were being paid to use Linux.

Some do, like the guys who write that kernel module for Hyper-V.

I was wondering where I could sign up for the same deal.

Any place that develops commercial Linux software - say, RedHat?

Re:Misread (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 3 years ago | (#37462838)

I've often times thought that Microsoft ought to pay people to use Microsoft products. Like recently when my MBR went bad and I had to spend several hours figuring out how to fix the damage that came because MS won't allow you to set the drive letter without booting into the same Windows install or using their stupid utility.

Jumping to conclusions (5, Interesting)

gweilo8888 (921799) | about 3 years ago | (#37461690)

"The agreement, which calls for Microsoft to receive payments of an undisclosed amount, is an implicit acknowledgment of Microsoft's longstanding claims that Linux violates its patents, an assertion that members of the open-source community have long disputed."

That is, I will grant you, possible. However, it's equally possible that Casio's signing is nothing of the kind, and rather is an acknowledgement that Microsoft's lawyers would be willing to drag a case out for long enough that it's simply cheaper to sign on the dotted line, and have the class bully go pick on somebody else.

Re:Jumping to conclusions (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 3 years ago | (#37461812)

Seems to me that Casio just wanted to keep their relationship with M$ cosy whilst utilising the full range of technology available to them.

Re:Jumping to conclusions (4, Insightful)

rhook (943951) | about 3 years ago | (#37461924)

Sounds exactly like extortion to me.

Re:Jumping to conclusions (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | about 3 years ago | (#37463064)

"Dat's an awful nice operating system youse gots dere. It'd be a shame if someone were to look too closely at your source code."

Microsoft has to do something to make money, considering the increasing losses from their world class search engine business. And by "world class", I mean losing $400 Million a quarter: http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-microsofts-bingmsn-results-truly-horrifying-quarterly-loss-balloons-to-713-million-2010-4 [businessinsider.com]

Re:Jumping to conclusions (1)

redkcir (1431605) | about 3 years ago | (#37463038)

Sorry, I guess I read that wrong. It looked to me that Microsoft was using Linux and charging for it in violation of the GPL.

Shameful and anti-competitive (4, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 3 years ago | (#37461692)

Microsoft are a disgusting, disgraceful and unethical company.

They have been a barrier to innovation, blocking so many new technologies they've set humanity back decades. They should be split up and forced to compete on merits

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (0)

tomhudson (43916) | about 3 years ago | (#37461794)

They should be split up and forced to compete on merits

Are you kidding. Then NOT being split up is great. It means that Steve Ballmer can continue to wreck EVERYTHING, rather than just one portion of the business.

Who can forget Ballmer's Greatest Hits, from the Monkey Dance to the KIN, and the Next of KIN, and everything in between ...

Do you really want to lose that sort of entertainment? (though it would be fun to see the various broken-up Baby Ballmers suing each other).

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37461856)

If Kin is your biggest bitch about MS they must be doing a pretty good job in your book. Sure you don't want to say some shit about Microsoft Bob or something?

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (3, Funny)

EvanED (569694) | about 3 years ago | (#37461860)

Microsoft are a disgusting, disgraceful and unethical company.

In other words... they're a company?

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37461930)

Listen pinko, not every company is ran by jackasses, not even every big company. IT seems to attract the real losers, I can see that, but companies come in all shapes and sizes and when people say nonsense like this, its revealing their anti-capitalist ideals. You can go and find your workers paradise if you like -- in fact please do -- but I think most of us will stay here and just take the good with the bad and deal with it.

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462428)

Well thank you Ayn Rand. Let's just all surrender to our corporate overlords.

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37461934)

Microsoft are a disgusting, disgraceful and unethical company.

In other words... they're a company?

Worse. They are a corporation.

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462010)

Cuba is calling your name, cunt. Go give it a shot and let us know how it works out for you.

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462674)

so, I guess that means you're content with your misery under this oh-so-lovely capitalist system ? Keep working your ass off into the ground, having nothing left to give to your children, keep paying bills and shiver at the mere thought of losing your pathetic job because that would make you homeless.
Humans in general are perfect slaves. And americans are getting pretty good at it too. Oh, and go google how many americans go to Cuba to get free medical care, which they can't possibly afford here.

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462038)

careful, companies are people too

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (0)

chrismcb (983081) | about 3 years ago | (#37461906)

What technologies has Microsoft blocked? How have they set humanity back decades? I guess we were going to the moon in the 70s.

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (0)

koolfy (1213316) | about 3 years ago | (#37461920)

and what about apple ?

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (2, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | about 3 years ago | (#37462894)

In terms of technology companies, Microsoft have been pure evil since the 80's. Apple have been wanna-be evil (ie evil at heart but not big enough to flaunt it) since the 90's. Now that they have reached mega-corp status they have indeed revealed themselves to be every bit as evil as Microsoft.

Boycott them both.

Not only that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37461992)

...they also have a bad side!!

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (1)

DAldredge (2353) | about 3 years ago | (#37462436)

Decades?

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462534)

Groupings of 10 years

Re:Shameful and anti-competitive (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about 3 years ago | (#37463146)

Yes, I know that it's hard to believe but Microsoft actually predated the Xbox360!

Now that SCO's gone (5, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | about 3 years ago | (#37461864)

I see that Microsoft has stepped up and started doing their own Linux license shakedown.

I see a strong uptick in "$699 Linux License" trollage on this forum, except with "Microsoft" instead of "SCO" in the text.

Re:Now that SCO's gone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37463044)

Pay your 699 you cock-smoking, teabagging, dirty GNU hippies

Casio devices? (0)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 years ago | (#37461956)

They still are around and sell stuff? That there is the true news story here.

And just because they pay doesn't mean its valid, it may just not be cost effective to fight.

Re:Casio devices? (1)

mortonda (5175) | about 3 years ago | (#37462234)

Is this the same Casio that sold sub-par music keyboards?

Re:Casio devices? (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 3 years ago | (#37462846)

Casio had $1.4 billion (US$) in cash reserves in April 2011 and garners over $4 billion per year in revenue.

Get out much?

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37461986)

Since when does Microsoft own the rights to the cell phone? and since when do they have the right to bully other people from using other peoples technology? Doesn't anyone remember the litigation results on the browser wars?

Re:WTF? (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 3 years ago | (#37462074)

MS: "We own FAT! Pay up or else!"

Linux: "No, you own VFAT, not FAT itself. VFAT is an optional extension to FAT."

USPO: "MS's VFAT patent applies broadly to all use of long filenames on a limited filesystem."

Linux: "That's BULLSHIT."

VFAT turned on out of the box (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37462342)

Every modern version of Linux that I've seen enables this optional extension out of the box.

Among other things (5, Insightful)

GumphMaster (772693) | about 3 years ago | (#37462064)

The article starts:

Microsoft Corp. and Casio Computer Co. Ltd. have entered into a broad, multiyear patent cross-licensing agreement that, among other things, will provide Casio’s customers with patent coverage for their use of Linux in certain Casio devices.

(emphasis mine). I would not mind betting the "other things" are actually the ones that were worth paying for, and that Microsoft slipped the "Linux patents" into the mix because Casio is using Linux. It costs Microsoft nothing but they get "precedent" with which to argue they hold valid patents affecting Linux.

Re:Among other things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462320)

The article starts:

Microsoft Corp. and Casio Computer Co. Ltd. have entered into a broad, multiyear patent cross-licensing agreement that, among other things, will provide Casio’s customers with patent coverage for their use of Linux in certain Casio devices.

(emphasis mine). I would not mind betting the "other things" are actually the ones that were worth paying for, and that Microsoft slipped the "Linux patents" into the mix because Casio is using Linux. It costs Microsoft nothing but they get "precedent" with which to argue they hold valid patents affecting Linux.

Several decent sized corporations have been paying Microsoft a Linux tax for a while now. It's cheaper than fighting in court, where we know MS can use their infinite coffers to cripple all but the biggest companies.

In related news ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 years ago | (#37462400)

... people in NJ pay Tony Soprano not to burn their businesses down.

Mozilla exists for its own employees (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462098)

Mozilla's management appears AWOL or just ineffective. They have a bunch of long-time employees that seem to dominate decision-making in their own interest. With no shareholders and no profit to consider, whose interests do they have to serve but their own? It's just human nature -- they confuse their own ideas with the public interest and living in their echo chamber (and demonizing outside voices) there is nobody to tell them otherwise. There is no force, like the bottom line, that imposes the discipline of painful decisions. /end of rant
You could see it when a high-level employee publicly insulted their largest customers (including IBM, supporting 500,000 Firefox users!) and the whole corporate IT community. In any real organization, he would have been fired -- because he damaged the organization's mission, but also to protect the organization's reputation and make the management look like competent people that IT managers want to bet their futures on. Was he fired? No, Was there an apology? No. Did anyone even try to walk back correct his statement? No.

Mozilla couldn't act in its own self-interest; it acted in the interest of that employee. It's Mozilla for the Mozillians.

Microsoft... (1)

cryptographrix (572005) | about 3 years ago | (#37462128)

...the new SCO. 10 years to bankruptcy, please? Can't we just get this over quick and have all the MS people quit?

Re:Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462550)

Hey bitch, MS has their dick firmly in your ass and they aren't going anywhere. Learn to love it.

That's the last straw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462148)

Until Americans fix their fraudulent system, I'm going to assume ALL USA patents are fraudulent.

I will no longer respect ANY US patents. I'm not going to even bother to check if I'm violating any of them.

And your lifesucking lawyers can't get to me where I'm at.

Re:That's the last straw (1)

cryptographrix (572005) | about 3 years ago | (#37462160)

I support this decision.

Re:That's the last straw (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 3 years ago | (#37462272)

The pirate bay founders felt the same way...

Never underestimate the reach of big money and multinationals.

(Yes, I know TPB "violated" copyright, not patent laws, but as both are "intellectual property" of the real movers and shakers of the modern world--the multinationals-- the distinction becomes grey at best, and moot at worst. If your project causes them consternation, they will reach out and touch you. Touch you like an angry TSA agent with dermatitis. We are talking full, repeated cavity search here.)

Re:That's the last straw (1)

nzac (1822298) | about 3 years ago | (#37462354)

I don't get this either you are in the US and they can get you (you don't sound coherent enough to hold a Diplomatic Passport or something).
Or you are outside it and you really should not care as they have no legal standing were your live. Patients are only good for the country you have them in or Australia.

Re:That's the last straw (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#37462408)

As someone who has lived his entire life in the United States, how should I qualify for Canadian residency so that I can be out of the reach of U.S. software patents?

Re:That's the last straw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462598)

As someone who has lived his entire life in the United States, how should I qualify for Canadian residency so that I can be out of the reach of U.S. software patents?

Will you be bringing beer with you?

Re:That's the last straw (1)

andydread (758754) | about 3 years ago | (#37462742)

Doesn't matter. Microsoft is on a mission to own your code. If your write software and distribute it as part of an operating system then you probably will be in their radar and they will sue you.

Do they a similar agreement with Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462292)

I have been under the impression that it was to cover the file system, and if so, does this explain the advent of GFS?

Extortion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462356)

I thought if someone uses their power to provide threats, rewards, or intimidation (Coercion) for gaining money, it was Extortion.
I also thought Extortion was illegal.

I'm confused how this works... (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 3 years ago | (#37462388)

I don't really understand how Microsoft can claim something like this to scare people but not disclose what, if anything, Linux is infringing on. Shouldn't they be required to disclose this sort of information if they're going to threaten people with lawsuits?

Or will it require some sort of lawsuit to get it out of them?

My guess is that Microsoft is just going to keep accepting the money people are willingly giving them and won't actually attack anyone who uses Linux.

Re:I'm confused how this works... (2)

Locutus (9039) | about 3 years ago | (#37462624)

read up on the Barnes and Nobel threats and you'll see how they operate. B&N told MS to tell them what patents, MS said that's proprietary information, B&N said WTF patents are public via the PTO tell us what patents, MS says only if you sign an NDA, B&N said we don't need an NDA to discuss public information, etc etc. B&N have some real lawyers while the others are cowering clueless idiots IMO. It probably helps that B&N has no connections with MS licensing since they've never sold PCs or PC software and many of the others have already been hooked by MS lawyers for other things.

LoB

Re:I'm confused how this works... (3, Informative)

andydread (758754) | about 3 years ago | (#37462652)

This may answer your question. From geekwire.

"Among the statements by Barnes & Noble are details of meetings between the companies "

At the meeting, Microsoft alleged that the Nook infringed six patents purportedly owned by Microsoft. Microsoft had prepared claim charts purportedly detailing the alleged infringement but insisted that it would only share the detailed claim charts if Barnes & Noble agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement (“NDA”) that would cover the claim charts as well as all other aspects of the parties’ discussions. Noting that the patents were public and that the infringement allegations pertained to Barnes & Noble’s public product, Barnes & Noble refused to sign an NDA.

Insisting that an NDA was necessary, Microsoft discussed the alleged infringement on a high level basis only. Microsoft nevertheless maintained that it possessed patents sufficient to dominate and entirely preclude the use of the Android Operating System by the Nook. Microsoft demanded an exorbitant royalty (on a per device basis) for a license to its patent portfolio for the Nook device and at the end of the meeting Microsoft stated that it would demand an even higher per device royalty for any device that acted “more like a computer” as opposed to an eReader.

After sending the proposed license agreement, Microsoft confirmed the shockingly high licensing fees Microsoft was demanding, reiterating its exorbitant per device royalty for Nook, and for the first time demanding a royalty for Nook Color which was more than double the per device royalty Microsoft was demanding for Nook. On information and belief, the license fees demanded by Microsoft are higher than what Microsoft charges for a license to its entire operating system designed for mobile devices, Windows Phone 7.

This pretty much sums up what they are doing. They are approaching companies producing devices with Linux and threating them under NDA to sign a per-device license fee or Microsoft will sue them out of business. Thereby shutting them down.

A scenario:
Microsoft walks into a business
Microsoft: what a nice open source business you have here but this is a dangerous neighborhood, you need some protection.
Store owner: Protection? from who?
Microsoft: well from us really. If you don't pay us to use open source and Linux in particular we will sue you out of the marketplace
Microsoft: Oh and sign this NDA. You cannot talk about this to anyone... get it?

Its really sleazy egregious mobster-like behavior on the part of Microsoft. Unless the Linux developers and greater community start lobbying the government, open source and Linux as we know it is screwed.

This is not what the agreement states (2)

techsoldaten (309296) | about 3 years ago | (#37462450)

Casio is not acknowledging the validity of claims with this deal. They are acknowleding Microsoft owns numbers.

Re:This is not what the agreement states (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 3 years ago | (#37463050)

It matters not what Casio or any one else acknowledges. Unless Microsoft successfully defends its patent claims in court, the claims are meaningless and unenforceable. Linux, please feel free to "infringe" away.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if... (1)

dcavanaugh (248349) | about 3 years ago | (#37462470)

MS gets a token payment from Casio in exchange for discounts and freebies on MS products. It wouldn't be the first time a company offered $2 of free stuff for a $1 "purchase" of a patent license. As I recall, SCO was bundling Linux "licenses" into a variety of unrelated contract matters and calling it a "sale".

Given the unwillingness of MS to identify (much less litigate) these mysterious patents, the salesmanship must be very creative.

Right and wrong do not matter (1)

mykos (1627575) | about 3 years ago | (#37462568)

Nobody needs to be "right" when "rich" will suffice. Nobody wants to become Bleem! [wikipedia.org]

it also says they prefer Linux to Windows and will (2)

Locutus (9039) | about 3 years ago | (#37462588)

they will still pay Microsoft but don't want their software. I don't think I've read one story where these licensing fees were mention and it was brought up why they would still pay to use Linux instead of paying to use Windows.

And the income from the Linux licensing deals is still in the noise level compared to the losses of say BING, Windows Phone, and even XBox.

LoB

dear microsoft, (1)

friesandgravy (1086677) | about 3 years ago | (#37462604)

fuck you.

All your code are belong to us. (1)

andydread (758754) | about 3 years ago | (#37462782)

Microsoft is on a mission to destroy open source and this is their strategy. They approach companies producing devices with open source operating systems and use dubious software patents to force them to pay or face a massive litigation expense. I suggest people do a search on "Microsoft Barnes and Noble" to see how B&N is fighting back against this egregious campaign by Microsoft to own other people's code. I wish B&N well.

flush (1)

npridgeon (784063) | about 3 years ago | (#37462790)

I can't wait til I have to pay Microsoft to use my toilet. Maybe they can get a patent on oxygen next.

huh? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 3 years ago | (#37462798)

I'm missing something here: What the hell does Casio still make that would require Microsoft tech?

Last time I checked, a six dollar digital watch doesn't really use anything that Microsoft makes. Or does it?

Is Casio planning to fail in the smartphone business or something?

Re:huh? (1)

F.Ultra (1673484) | about 3 years ago | (#37463182)

Well if you had bothered to check out their website you would see that they make a wide range of products, including POS systems and "Mobile Industrial Solutions" which seams to run Windows Mobile OS according to the screenshots at the site.

Re:huh? (2)

macshit (157376) | about 3 years ago | (#37463186)

Er, well never mind that they're not paying to use MS tech, they're paying MS not to sue them over vague IP claims, but Casio makes vast quantities of things besides digital watches — cameras, digital pianos, printers, electronic dictionaries, lots of specialized business electronics (cash registers, that kind of thing), and, yes, smart phones (running android) [casio.jp] ...

Casio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37462804)

is still in business?

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