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GNU-Linux & Copy Right/Patent laws


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#1 SuperSapien64

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 08:57 PM

I just watched a video where there discussing how Microsoft has been trying to file patent lawsuits against Linux and basically it doesn't like they can succeed because of the nature of Linux. But what about its users could the US authorities/government come after Linux users?

 

The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPRlk4Ms3kc&app=desktop



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#2 wizardfromoz

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 02:43 AM

 

But what about its users could the US authorities/government come after Linux users?

 

Obviously as an Australian I cannot answer that question, but I watched the video with interest.

 

If you are not (pardon the pun) patently doing anything illegal with your PC that attracts the attention of the authorities, and your PC is not confiscated and examined, then I cannot see how you could be found at fault, as an individual.

 

If certain codecs and libraries are of a non-free and/or proprietary nature and this is drawn to your attention whilst installing, then a EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) should be involved as a requisite of installing, and a Terms and Conditions (I have read and agree to) instrument put in place.

 

Failure to implement same, logically (which may not be the same as legally) throws the onus back on the Linux Distributor, for a failure to show due care and disclosure to Users, which in turn might see them as being culpable of an offence.

 

As to the individual User, I would be very surprised and disappointed if the Linux Community did not gather together to form a Fighting Fund to help those persecuted/prosecuted.

 

I can't really say more at this time, but thanks, SS, for bringing this to my/our attention.

 

:wizardball: Wizard



#3 cat1092

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 03:09 AM

What are they (Microsoft) doing to do? Get the list from ISP's showing where it's customers are running Linux & one by one, go to smashing doors in? :P

 

Really, this could be seen as a threat towards Linux users, if their usershare declines in favor of Linux distros, then it becomes a question of 'who are we going to sue?'. Linux has been established to be free years ago. What's not established, is running Microsoft software on Linux (WINE, anyone?). Or the tts-microsoft-fonts installer, where the user agrees to abide by the EULA (one of the few one will ever see. 

 

Maybe that's why Linux Mint in particular, releases an OEM Edition, free of any of these plugins, where system builders can freely install Linux Mint Cinnamon or MATE & be in compliance with the law, as long as they keep the media on hand & are only using for install purposes. 

 

I see this as part of the reason of why Windows 10's growth is slowing, in the below article. 

 

http://www.itworld.com/article/3039922/microsoft-windows/windows-10-growth-hits-the-brakes.html

 

Yet the question remains, who do they sue? While some distros openly sits back & says to pop in & enjoy a DVD, others has it in the Software Manager as a top rated app (Ubuntu Restricted Extras), that allows one to view movies. And of course, one that they may can do little about, since they don't own Netflix, the Pipeline plugin needed (as of last year) requires WINE. Though I don't know how much WINE has an effect on this, the fact is, it runs IE natively. Though from a security standpoint, wouldn't want it on my computer, it's opening a hole for Malware to leak in. 

 

While I don't know all of the details, it'll boil down to whom they can sue, and since no one physically 'owns' Linux (otherwise Microsoft, Apple or Android could wave enough cash in their (there goes 'whom' again) faces & just buy Linux out & shut it down in the regions where they don't want it, such as in the North American market. Some areas where poverty is high, as is piracy, they'll likely leave alone. 

 

It's still going to boil down to whom they're going to 'sue', because Linux is guaranteed Free (libre) software. While Linux Torvalds has some input on Linux, he doesn't personally own the full & complete rights to the software, which were established before he was in the picture. Richard Stallman was already working on the project, just couldn't put it in motion. 

 

The only thing I can possible see is that distros may be forced to take down links to any copyrighted Microsoft software. including WINE. So what if they do, the owners will come back with more that has zilch to do with Microsoft. Plus Microsoft will be going back on their word......'We Love Linux', yet it won't be the first time they've broke their word, and surely won't be the last time. 

 

Bottom line is, they're afraid........that consumers will see & read the truth, and give a Linux distro a spin & never look back. For each lost user, there goes thousands in dollars of cash, and I speak from experience, holding upwards of $6K of activated offerings (all Full versions) & am not even counting Vista. :P   This also doesn't include the value of ads shown on Microsoft Edge nor any of their in-store Apps, and other sites directly under the control of Microsoft. 

 

They only 'love Linux' because they're referring to Microsoft Azure customers who runs Server versions of the OS, whom makes for upwards of 35% of their revenue for the platform, not freely available consumer editions. Microsoft could care less about Linux users who may had initially lost access their media (if provided) or recovery partition (if damaged drive) to their legit COA & refused to assist in providing a replacement, now they're complaining because these users didn't want to or couldn't pay. While there's no solid number to prove it, there has to be a certain percentage who are running Linux because there was no other option (or maybe thought there wasn't). I know what genuine reinstall media looks like for legacy machines, worked at a charity where these were used, most would accept either a Home, Pro or MCE (same for Vista/7) version with no input for a key needed, as long as the correct brand for the computer is used. There's also a way to make an AIO Windows 7 install DVD to work with all licenses, a quick Google search will show one how to do it, if an ISO of any Windows 7 is available. It's best to the correct bit version for one's computer for this trick, one wouldn't want to install a 32 bit Windows 7 on a 64 bit computer. 

 

Of course that changed beginning with Windows 8 computers purchased with it, the COA is backed in the UEFI Firmware. Yet there's untold millions of 'legacy', (Windows 7 to XP) machines on the market in great shape & at unbelievable low pricing, as my Dell Optiplex 780 with Core 2 Quad Q9650 was only $109 shipped. Came with Home Premium, though one can input a Full version COA in the Windows Anytime Upgrade option in the Start Menu, it works just like a $100 store bought key for that purpose, just can't use on another computer while installed. 

 

So Linux OS's are a direct threat to Microsoft's business, as I've been saying for since the release of Windows 8. Only with 10, it has more meaning, because of the lack of privacy, and it's known that Microsoft doesn't respect consumer's choices when the Custom install is chosen, not to keylog, not to serve ads, not to upload data, at least 35 known violations at the time of the release of an app designed to block these leaks. Which was months ago, the number has likely risen past 40, was originally less than 20. 

 

Still the main question is, who are they going to sue? :P

 

Many LInux versions are free, so has no market value. Plus the rules are that another entity cannot just take over Linux (such as a merger). 

 

The thought of this is so silly that I'm laughing my butt off. :hysterical:

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#4 Guest_GNULINUX_*

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 05:19 AM

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At least one of them is honest about his feelings...  :devil:
 
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#5 mremski

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 07:15 AM

In some aspects, Steve is "not wrong", but the fundamental problem is a lack of understanding how the GPL/LGPL actually work.

Is there anything saying exactly what patents MS is claiming are being violated?  Have these patents actually been deemed valid (not invalid due to prior art?)

 

Should I go after MS because I hold the patents to "1" and "0"?


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#6 SuperSapien64

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 06:03 PM

 

 

But what about its users could the US authorities/government come after Linux users?

 

Obviously as an Australian I cannot answer that question, but I watched the video with interest.

 

If you are not (pardon the pun) patently doing anything illegal with your PC that attracts the attention of the authorities, and your PC is not confiscated and examined, then I cannot see how you could be found at fault, as an individual.

 

If certain codecs and libraries are of a non-free and/or proprietary nature and this is drawn to your attention whilst installing, then a EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) should be involved as a requisite of installing, and a Terms and Conditions (I have read and agree to) instrument put in place.

 

Failure to implement same, logically (which may not be the same as legally) throws the onus back on the Linux Distributor, for a failure to show due care and disclosure to Users, which in turn might see them as being culpable of an offence.

 

As to the individual User, I would be very surprised and disappointed if the Linux Community did not gather together to form a Fighting Fund to help those persecuted/prosecuted.

 

I can't really say more at this time, but thanks, SS, for bringing this to my/our attention.

 

:wizardball: Wizard

 

The EFF comes to mind as force for good. :luke:   They have a history of defending people whom have been prosecuted by corrupt Copy Right/Patent laws.

 

What are they (Microsoft) doing to do? Get the list from ISP's showing where it's customers are running Linux & one by one, go to smashing doors in? :P

 

Really, this could be seen as a threat towards Linux users, if their usershare declines in favor of Linux distros, then it becomes a question of 'who are we going to sue?'. Linux has been established to be free years ago. What's not established, is running Microsoft software on Linux (WINE, anyone?). Or the tts-microsoft-fonts installer, where the user agrees to abide by the EULA (one of the few one will ever see. 

 

Maybe that's why Linux Mint in particular, releases an OEM Edition, free of any of these plugins, where system builders can freely install Linux Mint Cinnamon or MATE & be in compliance with the law, as long as they keep the media on hand & are only using for install purposes. 

 

I see this as part of the reason of why Windows 10's growth is slowing, in the below article. 

 

http://www.itworld.com/article/3039922/microsoft-windows/windows-10-growth-hits-the-brakes.html

 

Yet the question remains, who do they sue? While some distros openly sits back & says to pop in & enjoy a DVD, others has it in the Software Manager as a top rated app (Ubuntu Restricted Extras), that allows one to view movies. And of course, one that they may can do little about, since they don't own Netflix, the Pipeline plugin needed (as of last year) requires WINE. Though I don't know how much WINE has an effect on this, the fact is, it runs IE natively. Though from a security standpoint, wouldn't want it on my computer, it's opening a hole for Malware to leak in. 

 

While I don't know all of the details, it'll boil down to whom they can sue, and since no one physically 'owns' Linux (otherwise Microsoft, Apple or Android could wave enough cash in their (there goes 'whom' again) faces & just buy Linux out & shut it down in the regions where they don't want it, such as in the North American market. Some areas where poverty is high, as is piracy, they'll likely leave alone. 

 

It's still going to boil down to whom they're going to 'sue', because Linux is guaranteed Free (libre) software. While Linux Torvalds has some input on Linux, he doesn't personally own the full & complete rights to the software, which were established before he was in the picture. Richard Stallman was already working on the project, just couldn't put it in motion. 

 

The only thing I can possible see is that distros may be forced to take down links to any copyrighted Microsoft software. including WINE. So what if they do, the owners will come back with more that has zilch to do with Microsoft. Plus Microsoft will be going back on their word......'We Love Linux', yet it won't be the first time they've broke their word, and surely won't be the last time. 

 

Bottom line is, they're afraid........that consumers will see & read the truth, and give a Linux distro a spin & never look back. For each lost user, there goes thousands in dollars of cash, and I speak from experience, holding upwards of $6K of activated offerings (all Full versions) & am not even counting Vista. :P   This also doesn't include the value of ads shown on Microsoft Edge nor any of their in-store Apps, and other sites directly under the control of Microsoft. 

 

They only 'love Linux' because they're referring to Microsoft Azure customers who runs Server versions of the OS, whom makes for upwards of 35% of their revenue for the platform, not freely available consumer editions. Microsoft could care less about Linux users who may had initially lost access their media (if provided) or recovery partition (if damaged drive) to their legit COA & refused to assist in providing a replacement, now they're complaining because these users didn't want to or couldn't pay. While there's no solid number to prove it, there has to be a certain percentage who are running Linux because there was no other option (or maybe thought there wasn't). I know what genuine reinstall media looks like for legacy machines, worked at a charity where these were used, most would accept either a Home, Pro or MCE (same for Vista/7) version with no input for a key needed, as long as the correct brand for the computer is used. There's also a way to make an AIO Windows 7 install DVD to work with all licenses, a quick Google search will show one how to do it, if an ISO of any Windows 7 is available. It's best to the correct bit version for one's computer for this trick, one wouldn't want to install a 32 bit Windows 7 on a 64 bit computer. 

 

Of course that changed beginning with Windows 8 computers purchased with it, the COA is backed in the UEFI Firmware. Yet there's untold millions of 'legacy', (Windows 7 to XP) machines on the market in great shape & at unbelievable low pricing, as my Dell Optiplex 780 with Core 2 Quad Q9650 was only $109 shipped. Came with Home Premium, though one can input a Full version COA in the Windows Anytime Upgrade option in the Start Menu, it works just like a $100 store bought key for that purpose, just can't use on another computer while installed. 

 

So Linux OS's are a direct threat to Microsoft's business, as I've been saying for since the release of Windows 8. Only with 10, it has more meaning, because of the lack of privacy, and it's known that Microsoft doesn't respect consumer's choices when the Custom install is chosen, not to keylog, not to serve ads, not to upload data, at least 35 known violations at the time of the release of an app designed to block these leaks. Which was months ago, the number has likely risen past 40, was originally less than 20. 

 

Still the main question is, who are they going to sue? :P

 

Many LInux versions are free, so has no market value. Plus the rules are that another entity cannot just take over Linux (such as a merger). 

 

The thought of this is so silly that I'm laughing my butt off. :hysterical:

 

Cat

I see Richard Stallman as a hero of Free/Open Source software and hardware. And no surprise that Microsoft is being hypocritical when it comes to open source and Linux. Also I always thought Linux Mint paid for the proprietary software through there donations and sponsors. In fact just recently I had a discussion on the LM forums about pre-installed proprietary software and they don't seem bothered or even to care about the legal problems in certain nations like the US where the Copy Right/Patent laws are very corrupt. In the video they mention calling the companies that own this software such as H264 which if I'm not mistaking was open sourced recently. Its just so idiotic, but some distros actually give a dang like Zorin OS and have an option to pay for the closed sourced software. I kinda wish more distros had this option. :thumbup2: Because who doesn't want to be able to play MP3, MP4, AVI & etc without having to worry about legal issues though since distros like LM are non-profit then this shouldn't be an issue in the first place but until the day the Copy Right/Patent laws change and become more liberal and flexible it's basically a slap in the face to expect the users to take care of it on there own. Shoot how many US Linux Mint users use the version with proprietary software installed?

 

KC8LVzU.jpg

ZG0KFNe.jpg
 
At least one of them is honest about his feelings...  :devil:
 
Greets!

 

As long as it benefits them then it OK. :rolleyes:

 

In some aspects, Steve is "not wrong", but the fundamental problem is a lack of understanding how the GPL/LGPL actually work.

Is there anything saying exactly what patents MS is claiming are being violated?  Have these patents actually been deemed valid (not invalid due to prior art?)

 

Should I go after MS because I hold the patents to "1" and "0"?

Agreed things aren't black or white. I tell my brother this all the time he really hates the US copy right system, but copy right laws were originally created to protect the content maker not the company who helps publish the works. We can all thank Walt Disney for helping to screw up the copy right system. :devil:



#7 cat1092

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 01:28 AM

 

 

I see Richard Stallman as a hero of Free/Open Source software and hardware.

 

+1! :thumbup2:

 

While I respect the fact that it was indeed Linus Torvalds tied the final pieces together, I also have ton of respect for Richard Stallman (like him or not). If it weren't for his years of work way before Linus thought of tying the loose ends, we'd not likely have Linux the way many of us uses the platform. Maybe a BSD variant, which was here before the release of the Linux name, yet not the 1,000+ OS's that we have, not even Debian. 

 

Microsoft is just using the news to get attention, or the 3rd party author of the article linked in the OP's initial post may be lobbying for them for their own financial gain. If so, it's just going to work. :thumbdown:

 

We've came too far to go back now, and there's a lot more questions than answers when it comes to any of this. Microsoft doesn't hold the patent to every technology right in the US created, if one is taken away, another (probably better) will replace it. For example, it was the open source community (back when Opera was a community browser), including the hardworking folks at Mozilla, that has made HTML5 a reality, others stepped in the game late to the party. Even Secure Boot was intended to be open source, Microsoft smelled what looked to be the answer to their future, quietly purchased the small non-profit, and one by one, shoved every employee who worked on the project out the door. Fairly much the same for most every small tech startup they purchased, once the employees were under the Microsoft umbrella, their 'input' was no longer needed, many were told to be grateful they had a job. 

 

As to the two Microsoft CEO's (former & current) posted in the pictures above, I agree with GNULINUX, at least one was outright honest about how he really felt, many years ago. The other is the snake in the grass whom has been inconsistent with his statements beginning just before the first Prewiew of Windows 10 was released. He's changes the corporation's policy on how long the OS will be supported on home user's computers no less than three times (the first was 'the lifetime of the computer'). Now it's been watered down to about two years for Home consumers, four for Pro users, and there's a small clause somewhere about Home users running Pro licenses, that's beyond the scope of this Topic. 

 

So the question remains much loomed, who gets sued over copyright voilations? Many of the distro maintainers has nothing to do with any 'alleged' violations, some are grabbed from 3rd party sources from the Internet, not hosted by the distros themselves. In the case of Linux Mint, true there's DVD playback software included, yet the Mint team has their own lawyers working on their behalf, so they obviously know what they can & can't get away with. Plus some Micosoft components, such as the extra Fonts, comes with a EULA, as does Skype for Linux. The user bears a responsibility to read before installing the software, neither comes shipped with the OS, both are downloaded & installed after initial setup of the OS. 

 

The truth likely is, that Microsoft won't lift a finger, unless there's a mass exodus of Windows users to Linux based OS's. Those resources would be far better spent on perfecting the crappy OS's they've released since most likely their best ever in 2009, in fact, they wasted untold billions of dollars with their 2012 release that wasn't even needed at the time. How many other corporations would dismantle their already in place cash machine for the unknown? Is it a wonder that the first of the two Steve's was shoved out the door? Being that it was his brainchild that led to the chaos of today. 

 

Microsoft has a lot more to be concerned over than software that was shipped with EULA's. In fact, Skype isn't always free of charge to use, some of that profit goes right back to them. 

 

My personal opinion of the article, is that it's way overblown, and obviously penned by an anti-Linux (or pro-Microsoft) author. Just another that's smoke & mirrors only. 

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 31 March 2016 - 01:29 AM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#8 mremski

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 01:33 AM

Sonny Bono had a big part in getting copyright extended to "life + 99 years".  I understand the intent of copyright, which is the same as for patents.  Exclusivity for the creator for a period of time.  But the extension gives a creator no reason to create anymore:  paint the one great painting, write the one great book, no incentive to create another masterpiece.  Like having Mozart write one bit of music, VanGogh one painting, MS one operating system (hey, I can dream can't I?)


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