Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

Beware Of False Profits

As the saying goes, every day, I'm forced to add another name to the list of people who can kiss my ass.

Today's entry is Tuxera.  Tuxera is a computer system company specializing in files systems, specifically the NTFS-3G

I'll wait a second for the chills to finish rolling down your spine.

Tuxera develops NTFS file systems for other operating systems and embedded systems, and drivers for these things to read NTFS file systems.  Their NTFS-3G kernel driver, an open source version, has been incorporated into the Linux stream and also Mac's Snow Leopard.  Of course, if you don't get enough bang out of the free (as in beer as well as freedom) version, they do sell an enhanced version, presumably made with M$' blessing and some cash going out (it isn't GPL'ed).

Today, Tuxera announced that they were partnering with M$ and licensing the exFAT file system from M$.  exFAT is basically M$ attempting to exert control again.  FAT and FAT32 are the file systems used in flash memory devices.  But the patent is questionable, and Red Hat and the OIN are acquiring prior art to call for a review to strike it down.  exFAT is the replacement, specifically intended for flash devices (many of which can be formatted FAT, FAT32, or one of the EXT flavors).  Since exFAT is new and tied to specific hardware (flash media), it can be patented and has a better shot at surviving a prior art challenge.  Vista's SP1 included support for exFAT, unknown about XP, since I haven't run across a flash device with it yet.  It is the standard file system for the SD Card Association's SDXC cards (I hate SD cards with a passion.  If it weren't for my GP2X and MP3 player, I wouldn't have any of them), so it's unlikely I'm going to run across a need for them.  The driver will be available for Linux first.  Yay.  Proprietary drivers for a company seeking to destroy my digital rights in my OS.

(By the way, every time I try to type exFAT, I wind up typing exFART and having to backspace and correct it.  I swear this isn't intentional on my part yet.)

In the press release touting the "extensive co-operation" as they phrased it, the CEO of Tuxera, Mikko Välimäki, said "As an open source company, we feel excited to sign an intellectual property agreement with Microsoft. They are a great partner, and I am confident that our agreements, and this collaboration, will ensure a bright future for file system interoperability and data portability that benefits device manufacturers and consumers alike."

Excuse me...I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Bad enough Apple, BeOS, Corel, Novell, i4i, Seattle Computer Products, Gary Clow of Stac Electronics, and plenty of other companies partnered with M$ only to find out too late that they were screwed.  This is worse because this is ostensibly an Open Source company.  I basically read this as, "They offered us a sack of loot, and we signed before the words 'sell out' finished reverberating around the room."

You can keep your exFAT compatibility.  And keep any further contributions to the kernel, while you're at it.  I don't want you putting my OS at risk just because you can make some cash.
Tags: computers, did not do the research, digital rights, don't try this at home, foss, haven't we suffered enough, history, important life lessons, infernal gall, linux, open source, patent law, technology is a beautiful thing
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