Linux distributor Red Hat inc has finally got off the fence and weighed in on the now exploding Microsoft/Linux patent wars. I’m not sure it was really Microsoft’s intention to kick off a full scale intellectual property war but the Linux community have not taken lightly to their copyright threats. It seems the gloves are finally off and it’s time for them to put up or shut up.
Red Hat’s legal council Mark Webbink made some revealing comments on a recent trip to Tokyo, where he was attended a meeting of the Open Invention Network a group setup precisely to enable developers to collaborate without fear of such IP problems. Notably he said that at some point one had to “get in the fight or yield ground to the bully.” No prizes for guessing who the “bully” is in this case.
Mark Webbink, Red Hat Inc: “I find it fascinating that a company which is defending itself against 30 to 40 patent infringement claims at any given time, has the gall to make these claims,”
Microsoft have ruffled a lot of feathers in the open source world with their latest round of patent saber-rattling and at last it looks as though someone is willing to fight back. There has been a massive reaction among Linux users with many joining Marcel Gagne’s “Sue me first, Microsoft!!” campaign. I don’t think they realize the hornets nest they have stirred up with this. I’m convinced a full scale legal war is not what they wanted at all, it looks however as though it may be what they get.
Personally I think it’s long overdue, it’s about time we fought back. To long have we sat idly by and ignored their slander, the sooner this is brought to a head the better. No doubt MS have pots of cash and big scary legal teams but I believe we can win in the long run.
You can read more of Mark Webbink’s comments in this story on itwire