Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G
sinetimore

"Protectionism Is Such A Dirty Word...."

One important thing to remember is that, just because someone is fighting a battle the way you want, it doesn't necessarily mean they are on your side.  Novell is an excellent example.  When they started gaining the upper hand in the lawsuit battle with SCO, many Open Sourcers cheered them on as white knights defending free open source software.  People like me, who weren't sure this was necessarily true, held back on our opinions out of concern that the battle they were fighting was simply business concerns and not about Doing The Right Thing.  That bet paid off when Novell entered into that hated patent swap deal with M$, creating the first dark Linux, something not even Kevin Carmony managed to pioneer.

Morrissey And Forrester, Novell's law firm and known as the MoFo's, is a law firm.  That means they represent whoever is footing the bill.  No courtroom idealism, it's a job.  And unfortunately, their job recently put them on the other side of digitial freedom.  Karl Kramer was representing Funai, and arguing before the International Trade Commission, successfully got a ruling that prevents Vizio from importing hi-def TV's into the American market.  The charge was that Vizio was infringing on Funai's patents.  Funai felt they had every right, since the patents Funai was claiming had been overturned by the patent office.  Didn't matter.  Vizio says they are going to appeal the ruling.

My dear dad loves to tell me that we live in a free market economy.  I don't think he's actually paying attention.
Tags: digital rights, foss, open source, patent law, technology is a beautiful thing
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