Microsoft’s patent plans worry Open Source advocates

Open Source advocates are concerned that software maker Microsoft’s plans to licence more of its technology might be a cunning plan to sink Linux.

A phalanx of Redmond spinsters said that Microsoft will begin licensing patents to meet requests from customers, partners, and regulators. According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft has over 100 discussions underway for patent licensing, including several purveyors of open-source products.A spokesman for the Open Source Initiative, a nonprofit group that certifies open-source licences, reckons the move is aimed directly at scuppering Open Source, however.

Volish lawyers could shut down some of the smaller open source operations by targeting them with complex and expensive patent lawsuits, is the fear.Large Linux distributors, such as IBM, have the cash and the lawyers to handle patent disputes but smaller companies building open-source applications don’t have the money to fight Microsoft in court.Smaller firms that could suffer include the Apache Software Foundation and the Free Software Foundation, the Journal says.

News source: The Inquirer

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