Feeds

MS exec rattles sabre, suggests Linux could infringe patents

Whose patents he doesn't say...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The CEO of Microsoft Israel has played the FUD card against Linux, raising doubts about the provenance of the intellectual property in the software, and advising potential customers to seek indemnification from the supplier in the event of patent infringement.

Or at least we think that's what Arie Scope said in an article here last week. If your Hebrew is enough to get you past the registration page you'll no doubt be able to cope with the whole piece, which provides a response to open source initiatives in Israel. These include proposed legislation on the use of GPL software by the government.

In the article, Scope says: "IBM is not developing its own version of the Linux OS. Rather than that it distributes Red Hat's version and clears itself from any liability in case the customer changes the code. I advise organizations to review the licensing agreement of Red Hat distributed by IBM, and ask the company for legal protection if it turns out that the OS infringes patents."

It's not entirely uncommon, one might observe, for suppliers of systems to deny responsibility if the customer breaks stuff through fiddling with the software, but that's probably not what Scope means. Effectively he's trying to raise doubts about IBM's long-term commitment to Linux, and to the customers it supplies Advanced Server to.

The IP issue has more edge to it, because major business customers do have concerns about IP issues with Linux, particularly because Linux distributors have historically been small companies who'd have difficulty indemnifying them should they be subject to legal action. Why they should be, or why Linux distributions should be any more at risk in this area than, say, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, is not entirely clear. But they worry, nevertheless.

Scope is therefore turning his guns on a Linux distributor that does have resources, IBM, and suggesting customers demand it backs its sales force with its wallet. Just like Microsoft does? One does wonder. One also wonders whether a lawsuit against Red Hat Advanced Server might just be sitting in a silo near Redmond, waiting for someone to push the button... ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.