Here’s an interesting interview by Duncan McLeod (Financial Mail, 8 June 2007) with Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu founder, (not exclusively) about the recent deal by Microsoft and Linspire. It seams to be basically the same kind of “not-suing-each-other-for-infringement-of-unspecified-patents”-deal Microsoft made with Novell and Xandros. I can’t think of a good reason why any Linux distributor should agree to a deal like this…? Anyway, I’d like to quote a short part of this interview:
“Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: ‘It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,’ that’s illegal. It’s racketeering. What Microsoft is doing with intellectual property is exactly the same. It’s a great company and I have great admiration for it, but this was not a well considered position.”
This basically sums it up pretty well, I guess.