Microsoft & Linux Vendors Trading in Patent Fool's Gold
Well what do you know? Microsoft seems to be gaining ground with their "patent protection" scheme. But what if they discover they've only bought a few bricks of fool's gold?
This whole Microsoft-Novell-GPL-who-gets-what-for-how-much-and-for-whose-3rd-child deal has many people confused, stumped, and scratching their heads. And did I mention that some people find this whole thing confusing? Highly educated people - even people with legal backgrounds - get headaches thinking about it. On the surface, it seems fairly simple. Microsoft claims a fair amount of FOSS code infringes their patents. This scares business users who are generally interested in the idea of deploying GNU/Linux in their enterprises. Microsoft and Novell reach an agreement that, without violating the specific terms of the GPL, offers patent infringement protection, similar to what users might experience in a normal cross-licensing deal. Problem solved, right? It ain't that simple.