Linux Violates More Than 228 Patents — Anyone Care?

“There was a report out this summer by an open source group that highlighted that Linux violates over 228 patents. . . . So the licensing costs are less clear than people think today.”

That’s Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer doing his level best to scare the bejesus out of corporate buyers who might think Linux looks good.

Of course, Microsoft upped the ante a few weeks ago by expanding its intellectual property indemnification program in an obvious attempt to appeal to customer paranoia and to a greater or lesser extent it will work.

But how big is the risk from open source software? As with much of Microsoft’s spin these days, Ballmer was being, shall we say, “economical with the truth.” The report he was referring to came from a consultancy named Open Source Risk Management (OSRM).

Full article.

In the end, the author also says:

Two things need to happen. First, we need the laws changed to make software patents less easily abused. Second, we need Microsoft to stop with the incessant spin doctoring. Enough is enough, Steve!

I believe there is a chance for the first thing to happen. There’s a lot of pressure from U.S. developers and from the European Union to create a more rational patent system. As for the second, I hold out very little hope.

I agree 100%. Seems to me Microsoft is getting more negative press on this than positive. Not what they wanted

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