June 24, 2005  ·  Lessig

You’ll find at the Microsoft IEBlog an announcement that will surprise some. I’m happy it doesn’t surprise me.

Following Dave Winer’s decision to release his spec for RSS 2.0 under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, Microsoft has now released its spec for “Simple Feed Extensions” under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

This isn’t the first Microsoft site licensed under a Creative Commons license. There’s a very cool PatternShare site that builds on Microsoft research licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. But this is the first under a ShareAlike license. That’s right – the “copyleft” “ShareAlike” license. People are free to modify and redistribute the spec so long as the modifications are licensed under a similar license.

Also notable is Microsoft’s representations regarding patent:

As to software implementations, Microsoft is not aware of any patent claims it owns or controls that would be necessarily infringed by a software implementation that conforms to the specification’s extensions. If Microsoft later becomes aware of any such necessary patent claims, Microsoft also agrees to offer a royalty-free patent license on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions to any such patent claims for the purpose of publishing and consuming the extensions set out in the specification.

These steps signal important flexibility and sophistication within Microsoft. For anyone who knows people at that place, this is old news. But even if old news, very very good news.

  • a

    not really. like all corporations, microsoft must do what is financially sound for microsoft to do. To copycat other corporations who have a prior stake in other areas such as open source is a cost reducing proposition. Microsoft must continually leverage their desktop OS legacy, even while they claim that each new rendition of this plan is this great new initiatve is chock full of innovationess. If Msoft were to release its os code as open source tomorrow, they would fail immediately, because Windows is a necessarily deficient technology, because its backwards compatibility is increasingly becoming its primary design goal. Do not trust microsoft legal. Fuck bill gates!

  • Xofis

    >>its backwards compatibility is increasingly becoming its primary design goal.>>its backwards compatibility is increasingly becoming its primary design goal.

    If they broke your apps, you’d be screaming about big bad evil Microsoft.

  • b

    lessig, are you really this dense? IE is ‘free’ as well, but it results in huge overall costs. If they really wanted a ‘just works’ solution for feed syndication, they would use RSS. What SFE is designed for is maximum compatibility to MSoft proprietary technologies. Most likely SFE is compatible with the .net initiative technologies, where RSS introduces high interoperability and the possiblity to commoditize microsoft products once again- this is msofts biggest problem.

    Secondly I am really sick of Msoft marketing themselves as the ‘super happy fun company’. Investing your career in that place is a really really crappy deal, where the company will continually sell you out for cheap asian labor. It acutally makes sense for them to employ you for a year or two at slightly above market rates, and then fire you knowing that you will try to leverage your knowledge of MICROSOFT PROPRIETARY technologies. You do drudgery for 2 years and then you become a non-commisioned salesman! happy happy joy joy. things sure are great at msoft. Look at their stock! its not a very lively ticker even after they released their plans to take over the world with .net. You should be argueing against Msoft introduction to educational and government environments- they want to breed consumers via the educational system- what side are you on lessig! dont believe the hype.

  • a

    “If they broke your apps, you’d be screaming about big bad evil Microsoft.”

    they do, and thats why I don’t use them. If I use OSS, then no one has the power to break my apps, and that is the most important quality- it is subject to the open market, not to closed management. economic strength is about clear contracts and the means to back up those contracts. When I buy from microsoft, I expect them to support their software and that is that. As the situation exists now, it is a really bad choice either as a career developer or as a SMB to go with msoft, because they will become increasingly expensive to operate. Microsoft does not offer financial controls of the customers cost investment.

    do you want to know why microsoft is republican? because for their model to work they must secure a privileged place in the american market- because if no privilege existed then software would become a dirt cheap commodity, and invalidate all their investment. only republicans can offer them this priviledge because they favor centralization and federalizaiton. problem is, that republicans are not the only party in america… and microsoft was tried as a monopoly in american courts. lessig what the hell are you talking about?

  • http://ilya.us Ilya Haykinson

    b, I don’t think Microsoft employs people and them sells them out. They are actually one of the best employers in the tech space in terms of benefits, and tend to hang on to people for a very long time. When priorities change and teams fold, people usually have the chance to find another job inside Microsoft rather than being fired or laid off.

    It is sickening that when a company doesn’t do something right, it is criticized for being evil. But when it does do something right, it is now criticized for still being evil (“don’t trust them, it’s a trick”), instead of thanked and encouraged.

  • poptones

    do you want to know why microsoft is republican? because i think there is no world outside the US and for their model to work they must secure a privileged place in the american market- because if no privilege existed then software would become a dirt cheap commodity, and invalidate all their investment. only republicans can offer them the priviledged path to jesus because they favor centralization and federalizaiton. problem is, that republicans are not the only party in america… and microsoft was tried as a monopoly in american courts. lessig what the hell am I talking about? my brain is filled with methamphetamine and i cannot form a coherent sentence i am just trolling this forum and i cannot stop myself someone kill me please
    - posted by a on Jun 24 right before his head exploded

    a.rambling 1&2>/dev/null

  • poptones

    But when it does do something right, it is now criticized for still being evil (“don’t trust them, it’s a trick”), instead of thanked and encouraged.

    Because it IS a trick. This is their legacy. How many times do they expect the world to walk through their fire before we all know better than to burn our feet?

    They joined the W3C when Netscape refused, they contributed to open standards but increasingly refused to produce a browser that could actually display pages conforming to those standards, and as a result of this creeping crippling half the web won’t render properly on anything but MSIE and a majority of companies don’t care that the people they hire to develop these websites don’t even know how to produce sites that actually do comply with those open standards that MS itself helped develop. They’ve been playing from the same playbook with SOAP and XML for years now because they finally figured out the back end is where the real work gets done and mindshare is won.

    Every time MS offers their technology “on reasonable terms” it means they will give it to you long enough for it to become popular, then the submarine patents surface and start lobbing torpedos. “We’re evolving this technology” so now it no longer interoperates with the open stuff that’s been developed but “for a reasonable fee” we’ll license to you the new iterations of this technology. “Oh, what’s that? You’re an open source project and so there is no mechanism in place to handle licensing fees? Gee that’s too bad…”

    Anyone who would trust Microsoft is a fool.

  • a

    Ilya, unfortunately you have bought in to this idiotic corporate crapola. MSoft is most likely the most belligerent company do deal with in the software realm. They hold our own educational systems hostage( including small european and south american countries, etc. ), by threatening them to drop support if they buy from particular vendors. I do not buy this crap that microsoft is doing good even if they donate to children charities and pictures of kittens on their website. take it from the experts ilya, microsoft are the bad guys. i dont’ care that your neighbor had full medical and dental, blah blah blah. the class of people who express your sentiment are typically 1) have medium purchasing power 2) no technical background.

  • a

    uh, poptones im not sure who or what you are parodying, but im sure you have thoroughly impressed your rugby chums and the other hooligans at the bar by interspersing info about republicans with crude remarks about jesus, isolationism, etc. very very funny, but you are actually agreeing with me you idiot. lets drink to that.

    secondly, business is a ‘trick’ if there are enough people who understand the business, otherwise it is ‘service’. funny how that works. The problem is that there are lots and lots of people who know how to make an operating system. Lots of those people work on linux. So the only way microsoft can justify the use of its product is by leveraging existing legacy. This has failed to work in rapidly evolving environments, so they have resorted to gaining privilege through legal and political means. Microsoft is a big fat tick filled with blood waiting to pop. This tick is telling you that it is doing you a service, and actually has convinced you to argue its points for it, because it has promised not to suck as much blood from you personally. I personally hate ticks altogether and I pick them out as soon as I see them.

  • g

    lessig, you shmuck! didnt you read the holloween documents? what the hell is wrong with you? spending a little too much time partying in brazil I think. If you would do your homework you would know that SFE is a really an expression of the strategy outlined in the Holloween docs:

    “OSS projects have been able to gain a foothold in many server applications because of the wide utility of highly commoditized, simple protocols. By extending these protocols and developing new protocols, we can deny OSS projects entry into the market.”

    lessig you dumbass!

  • I Really Hate Microsoft
  • g

    BTW Lessig, what exactly is so ‘cool’ about this site? Its basically a site about UML-sytle patterns that MSoft will use to show how .NET can be used in super-duper corporate applications. Sounds to me like you have been talking to you friendly neighborhood Microsoft rep. Whoever told you about this site is a very unreliable source of information whose brain microsoft has completely surrounded and whos logical capicity lacks the strength for escape. I suggest that you tell this person to get lost, his information contacts will further convolute your methods. Stanford must be a really fun place!

  • Joseph Pietro Riolo

    People need to know that they don’t even need
    licenses to use any protocols, formats, etc.
    unless they are covered by patents or unless
    these people enter agreements with the designers
    of protocols, formats, etc..

    I will take RSS 2.0 as an example. After filtering
    out the copyrightable expressions from the document
    that appears at http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss,
    I am left with this protocol:

    Required level 1 – <rss> element
    required attribute “version”
    with the value of “2.0″

    Required level 2 under <rss> – <channel> element

    Required level 3 under <channel> – <title> element
    Required level 3 under <channel> – <link> element
    Required level 3 under <channel> – <description> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <language> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <copyright> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <managingEditor> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <webMaster> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <pubDate> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <lastBuildDate> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <category> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <generator> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <docs> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <cloud> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <ttl> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <image> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <rating> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <textInput> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <skipHours> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <skipDays> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – <image> element
    Optional level 3 under <channel> – any number of <item> elements

    Required level 4 under <image> – <url> element
    Required level 4 under <image> – <title> element
    Required level 4 under <image> – <link> element
    Optional level 4 under <image> – <width> element
    Optional level 4 under <image> – <height> element
    Optional level 4 under <image> – <description> element

    Required level 4 under <textInput> – <title> element
    Required level 4 under <textInput> – <description> element
    Required level 4 under <textInput> – <name> element
    Required level 4 under <textInput> – <link> element

    At least one of <title> or <description> elements must
    appear at level 4 under <item>.
    Optional level 4 under <item> – <title> element if not
    already included.
    Optional level 4 under <item> – <description> element if not
    already included.
    Optional level 4 under <item> – <link> element
    Optional level 4 under <item> – <author> element
    Optional level 4 under <item> – <category> element
    optional attribute “domain”
    Optional level 4 under <item> – <comments> element
    Optional level 4 under <item> – <enclosure> element
    required attribute “url”
    required attribute “length”
    required attribute “type”
    Optional level 4 under <item> – <guid> element
    optional attribute “isPermaLink”
    Optional level 4 under <item> – <pubDate> element
    Optional level 4 under <item> – <source> element
    required attribute “url”

    Because the U.S. copyright law does not extend copyright
    to “any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation,
    concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in
    which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied
    in such work”, the above protocol is in the public domain and
    anyone can use it without worrying about the license that
    appears at RSS’s web page. Moreover, anyone can modify the
    protocol in any way if he wants to although this may not be
    the wisest way to do. Furthermore, anyone can express the
    protocol in any way without the need to abide by the license.

    People have criticized the “permission” society in this blog
    and other blogs. Here, I am criticizing the “license” society
    where people want to have everything licensed. These people
    need to know that not everything must be licensed. The
    above protocol is an example of where a part of the knowledge
    is best to be left unlicensed.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this
    comment in the public domain.

  • a

    oh by the way, I wish to put all my writings and intellectual property posted here into the public domain. You are free to redistribute this information as you see fit. hehehehehehhe.

  • Knowles It All

    see Embrace and Extend

  • some one

    best info on embrace and extend

    lessig, please don tell me you are on microsofts side. they are defineately not on yours, no matter what kind of lie-through-the-teeth BS the spin. dont let us down larry!

  • Adrian Lopez

    One thing I don’t understand about these “copyleft” specs is whether the specs’ creators think they own the spec itself or merely the document that describes the spec.

    Take, for example, Pixar’s Renderman. They claim that “The RenderMan® Interface Procedures and RIB Protocol are: Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1989, 1995 Pixar.” While Pixar doesn’t charge implementors for these specs, the implication is that they could, if they so desired, assert their supposed right to deny others permission to implement them.

    Formats should not be subject to copyright protection. If I wish to make my own version of “RSS” or “Simple Feed Extensions”, I should be free to do so without requiring permission from the spec’s designer. One should not be forced to adopt a new format if an existing one will work or else can be modified to fit the implementor’s requirements.

    What do you think?

  • sum bodi

    this is reminiscent of Java history. In the Msoft-Sun tussle over Java /J++ microsoft version of java, it was essentially resolved that Sun owned the right to the name Java, and thus reserved the right to call what they want java and prosecute against those who would call it Java without their permission. Thus, if RSS was a trademark, then the owner could deny the right to microsoft to call their technology RSS compliant drastically reducing its value in the marketplace.

    The very fact is that it is not really that legal to own a specification( many have certainly tried ). It is legal to own a patent to the most efficient implementation of that specification, which is one primary strategy. The other primary strategy is not to publish the core technology internals, that way creating a competitive product involves a lot of guesswork which can be expensive, and puts the vendor of closed source in a better position.

    But hey, if it has the ‘creative commons’ sticker then it must be cool. Im starting to think this creative commons is like McOpenSource ala Stanford.

    “She has fallen! Babylon has fallen, and all the graven images of her gods he has broken to the earth!”

  • jah rastafari

    all of you will witness when babylon falls.
    i-and-i will survive.

  • http://www.islam.net Nebo

    larry, it is likely that it will be your take on Msoft that will determine your status to the world at large. if you take the blue pill, Stanford will parade you around for a while and give you a nice desk where you can place bets on the further wreckage in the third world( and the braindead multitude will forever consider you ‘a great man’ ). If you take the red pill and learn that Microsoft does not intend to play nice with the OSS world at all, you just might do something great with your life. the choice is yours lessig, no one ever said this was going to be a walk in the park. We see much potential in you Lessig- we know how all this started with you…

  • Peter

    Professor Lessig, please ignore these trolls. I think it’s pretty obvious that most of them are posted by the same person, whose motives are fairly obvious.

    Yes, whenever Microsoft mucks around with standards we need to keep our guard up – we’ve gone through “embrace and extend” before. Yes, we also need to be wary of submarine patents – we remember what they tried to pull with FAT. And so on.

    But we certainly don’t need knee-jerk reactions. The Professor’s comments about SFE are right on target. If someone has a problem with how SFE is being implemented or licensed, how about some specifics? If there’s really a problem here, can we actually discuss it?

  • http://www.ganymeta.org/ Jonathan Abbey

    We’ll see. Microsoft in the past (as with SenderID) has been very diligent in crafting ‘royalty-free’ licenses that include structural requirements that neatly exclude Open Source implementers by not including the right to sublicense.

  • Rob

    Agreeing with Peter – CC and OS are not going at the exact same market, in fact, I’d say CC is all about allowing *everyone,* not just Microsoft, to Embrace and Extend while knowing that they are being given a right to do so.

    The fact is that this may be scary to the OS community when you’re talking about programming languages or protocols, but it means a heck of a lot when you’re talking about spreading Creative Commons to a wider audience. In my humbe opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Quoting b on Jun 24 05 at 1:43 PM
    “they want to breed consumers via the educational system”

    If that worked, don’t you think Apple would be the number 1 computer manufacturer in terms of market share? Just about every computer I saw and used at school was a Macintosh. Yet somehow I ended up a Windows user, both at home and at work.

    Also has anyone (with a few exceptions) here actually read the SFE spec? (http://msdn.microsoft.com/longhorn/understanding/rss/simplefeedextensions/)
    There’s nothing proprietary about it. Yes, Microsoft will leverage this in the next version of .Net, but that doesn’t mean that OSS can’t support it as well. (That’s why they’ve released under creative commons in the first place) Implementation is simple, just slap this XML into your feed and get the new functionality. Remember, if your aggregator doesn’t support SFE, (if properly coded) it should ignore it. This _will_ enable a whole new branch of XML-based interaction that we haven’t even seen yet. Go back and read the specs, then comment.

    In closing, please drop the gratuitous Microsoft bashing, because it really gets us nowhere.

  • poptones

    Man, some just don’t get it.

    Microsoft was on the W3C for eons. When Netscape refused to go, they went and they “led.” They offered up all sorts of wotzits and widgets and yet a decade hence their browser still cannot display a PNG image properly, they still do not properly handle some elements that are part of css1 even as we are now working with css3.

    This is just more co-opt, embrace and extend. People have provided links, they have pointed to the documentation on how Microsoft plans itself to usurp – and bar – as many from as much of the “commons” as it can muster.

    The same nonsense is now going on with their “.net initiative” – they offer up these specs and say “you are free to impliment them as you choose” and then as soon as it is apparent others are doing just that (i.e. mono) they begin “extending” those implimentations in a manner that locks up the spec in patents which they then deny to any open source project. Thus, much effort is wasted chasing a “free” spec only to have the gate (again) slam shut on any possibility of a complete implimentation as soon as we reach the castle.

    It is simply not worth it. At this point the open source desktop is rife with features and capabilities Microsoft is still offering as vapour. Embracing any specifications they offer at this point would be an accedence to the most bloodthirsty and aggressive enemy of a free and open culture.

  • a

    Agreeing with Peter – CC and OS are not going at the exact same market, in fact, I’d say CC is all about allowing *everyone,* not just Microsoft, to Embrace and Extend while knowing that they are being given a right to do so.

    Yes, I will have my own little microsoft fiefdom to call my own. Do you really think that the ‘chicken littles’ are going to survive in the long term?

    The adoption of software depends of several factors:
    1) marketing
    2) simplicity of use
    3) compatibility

    If microsoft comes along and babelizes every single protocol that is invented, technology in general will become much more costly to use. The adoption of technology will come to depend entirely on marketing, and therefore the entity with the highest spending power will win, further perpetuating the problem. In the end, we will have crappy technology and Microsoft will have a lot of money. Now you know why we all drive cars that are based on technology this is approximately 100 years old and causing enourmous environmental problems? But the geniuses at Stanford can’t think of any good ideas, hmm must be because there is absolutely no way in the universe that we can derive power from anything but petroleum. Strange how that works, being that petroleum is the most stable and therefore valuable commodity in the world.

    Americans, and most of the world, are not accustomed to demanding technological change, if markets can be controlled then they must be subject to the will of the people. The libertarian mindset has one major flaw: property is sanctioned and structured( even created ) by state law. It is double speak to say that government should stay out of private property, when the government was the one that created the property in the first place! Secondly it is the government that maintains property! Things may change in this century.

    Gratuitous Microsoft Bashing( GMB ) is both entertaining and informative. I say on with the show! They don’t want to extend blogs, they want to eliminate blogs! Blogs are a great medium because they are simple and easy to use and implement. If and when this changes, then the healthy blog community will suffer greatly. The medium is the message. If the medium is confounded, so is the message.

  • Konrad Zuse

    Man, some just don’t get it.

    I think many of them get it, they are just working for Microsoft. It is a known fact that Microsoft pays people to troll lists and make comments like:

    “But Microsoft makes excellent technology”
    “Microsft treats it employees well. I repeat, Microsoft treats it employees well.
    “Microsoft treats it customers well. I repeat, Microsoft treats its customers well.”
    “If you oppose Microsoft you will lose.”

    and many many others… Slashdot is still the best place to find info on Microsoft- it is reporting by people who actually undestand this crap, and they generally dont really care what they say, most of them are running linux systems anyway. These ‘Microsoft aren’t that bad’ people are the class that Microsoft primarily targets. As mentioned, they are the a carefully delineated class here in america. Microsoft prices their products just low enough, and employs a carefully discerned demographic of people to scoop this class up onto the Microsoft bandwagon. It is sickening to hear the so called ‘ivy league’ becoming more and more microsoft friendly. Their technology is a piece of crap and every CS major knows it. If this is what kind of ‘knowledge’ we are producing in our universities we are in big, big, trouble. Hear that EU!? america is !@#$ing up big time, that is why the dollar is dropping. In ten years we will be a super poor country running on really bad IT because bill gates bought our legal system! So you still think Microsoft is ‘not that bad’? I personally think we should club them to death via anti-trust lawsuits( and if the Dems think they can get away with ignoring this one, think again ), but thats just my humble opinion.

    Finally poptones, I think that the OSS community has to grow up and stop being little immature ‘I own the world’ brats. That ‘a’ guy sure is a jerk! OSS people have to start helping each other whenever they identify themselves. Of course, Microsoft will try to co-opt whatever symbols we may use to do that, but we do have the OSI( starring Bruce Perens ), and Linux/GPL which they have not been able to mess with up until this point. The GPL is very difficult for them to deal with due to its ‘viral’ nature.


    As for you ‘Microsoft is not that bad crowd’, I suggest you read up on the history of modern Germany. Bye!

  • http://drblayney.com/Asclepius.html Zachariah

    Attention Americans,

    You are in deep trouble. Your courts of law are being bought out by the rich and powerful. Child molestors and murderers go unprosecuted. Those of you living in your luxury apartment complexes drawing salaries from the corrupted medical system are in for an extreme shock. How will America pay for the salaries your schools have promised you? Isis will soon demand her fee, how will you pay?

    “Skulls, cemeteries, and blood are associated with her worship. She is black and emaciated. Her face is azure, streaked with yellow, her glance is ferocious; her disheveled and bristly hair is usually shown splayed and spread like the tail of a peacock and sometimes braided with green serpents. She wears a long necklace (descending almost to her knees) of human skulls. She may be shown wearing a girdle of severed arms. Children’s corpses as earrings (likeliest representing natural infant mortality and childhood mortality from causes such as disease), and cobras as bracelets or garlands add to her terrifying adornments. Her purple lips are often shown streaming with blood; her tusk-like teeth descend over her lower lip; and her tongue lolls out. She is often shown standing on the inert form of her consort, Shiva. She is sometimes accompanied by she-demons. Her four arms hold weapons or the severed head of a demon: these objects symbolize both her creative and her destructive power…”

    reXembXr tXe abXmiXatXon of SXdoX.X.

  • Mazyar Fallah

    Microsoft is a Great American company. Why don’t you go play with your faggot commie pals instead of spewing this Un_American junk!!

  • http://www.esdaniel.net Ed Daniel

    I thought there were some excellent comments over at the IE7 blog by KL on decommoditizing protocols and by Jack Pacchetti explaining he was doing this stuff well over a year ago with RSSCalendar.com

    I have to say I read LL’s book ‘The Future of Ideas’ and it moved me very much. Since then I’ve held Mr. Lessig in quite high regard. That said I think we’re in for some bumpy times ahead because Longhorn/RSS is not ever going to be as cool as what we were promised in 2003 which was Longhorn/WinFS, I know DBox will deliver Indigo, Avalon seems well on its way but I couldn’t give a rat’s arse about what’s already here and well established when WinFS is what they should be getting ready – but that’s a totally seperate thing I couldn’t hold back on ranting about, sorry.

    Back to the CC stuff – I’m worried, and it’s this type of behaviour that makes me suspicious because it’s like the good guys have all been pushed out to the edge to fight on the frontline. I think we need to see visibility and transparency at Microsoft not just from the ‘workers’ but from the peolpe who call the shots and take the strategic decisions. Until then it’s going to be real hard to trust a company with such a bad reputation for playing straight.

    After all, it’s not just relationship marketing – if we don’t use Microsoft tools and instead create value for our users with open source tools that deliver the applications they need there won’t be a Microsoft in the future.

    It is so hard knowing what to do with Microsoft, it is so very hard knowing which way to turn – Microsoft, IBM, Sun, or just heading out into the global village with Linux and seeing where we end up.

    Meanwhile on that note global warming stuff we should be considering – if temperature across the globe rises another 2 degrees most of Africa turns into a desert – yet here we are discussing our specialities, our niche subjects – the things that give us purpose – what purpose is this, what life is this?

  • poptones

    Don’t let hatred for Microsoft blind you to the big picture. AMD and Intel and other chipset makers and PC makers are in this “industry coalition” to bring us into the new enlightened world where the economics of scarcity can be applied to information via artifical mechanisms inflicted upon the marketplace by mutually agreed corporate doctrine. And “the other computer maker,” Apple, is making the big switch to this new platform right along with the rest.

    Once that is in place there will be no more linux if the corproations so decree it. There will be no new hardware produced that is not wrapped up in patents on the proprietary TCPA platform and the open source community will be unable to support this new hardware because the corproations will inevitably refuse to allow them access to the needed “proprietary information.” And there will be no screaming about “antitrust” issues because Microsoft and Apple and NEC and any other giant corporate player will have “equal opportunity to compete in the market.”

    The only loser in this will be linux – and, ultimately, every last one of us, as we all become information serfs in the kingdom of corporations.

  • http://www.ldolphin.org/babel.html Amraphel

    Everything I Know, You Know

    This is part of Microsofts new markteing image. “Everything I know, you know” (!!!!!!!). Looks like a cheesy gap ad. Also love the commercials with people sitting ’round the table in a nice wooded pasture-a more accurate image would be horned demon-god ensalving all of humanity. Can we run the apple 1984 ads again?

    A great testimony for .NET

    What is .NET for all you laymen? You might recall what microsoft tried to do with HTML? Now try to imagine what they want to do with Web Services and Blogs…

    Its interesting to see this little band of brits who are suspiciously sympathetic to Microsoft. Looks like you fell under Tony Blair’s new Bush-friendly programs( basically young+education+no celtic or socialist/labor affilations ). Blair wants to permanently graft the US to British society( whos the colony now! ). Should take care of those pesky celtic nationalists. There is a really interesting one here. I like his account of the drink from the garden hose language. Are young engineers buying this garbage? Shows you how threatened they feel by Google. Poptones you are right on. Ed Daniel: im not so sure such a comprimise is possible( Matt 6:24 ). That may work as a short term strategy for those of us with 10-15 years left in our careers. Some of us have our whole lives ahead!

  • http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/38800/ Deep Esophagus

    Article on US Microsoft Lobby. When will the Microplauge end?

  • Nik Pfirsig

    Did anyone notice the phrase “royalty-free license” To me this is the loophole MS is counting on.
    They put out something for developers to use. after its use becomes wide-spread and pervasive, suddenly a patent issue surfaces. This invokes the royalty-free licensing. Since MS decides the terms of the license, backroom deals between MS and its most dependent implementors that will invariably require the licensing of a decomoditized protocol or product. of course this one will not be roaylty free or under the creative commons. And the terms of the license will be hidden from publication by a non-disclsure agreement.
    What they are doing is dangling a carrot to bait the rabbits into a trap. The trap is a twisted legal manipulation that gives the MS legal department a get out of jail free card for another illegal activity called frivilous litigation as a business strategy.
    In the US antitrust proceedings, a similar tactic was described for preventing the hardware manufacturers from offering computers without windows pre-installed.