Tuesday, March 15, 2011

REDHAT Is Fooling FOSS And Feeding Patent Trolls!

I am very happy that just a few weeks ago, I made a decision not to buy Readhat product and instead went with CentOS and private local support for a project requiring Linux servers.
The answer to why? is in the lengthy post by Florian Mueller revealing what Redhat is doing behind the closed doors.
Through  examining a series of a lawsuits, negotiations with patent trolls, litigations, Florian shows how  Redhat managed to fool FOSS community and feed the Patent troll at the same time. In this particular case, Redhat has paid 4.2 Million to the patent holders.

Red Hat coughed up $4.2 million in June 2008 to settle a patent infringement suit that had been brought by FireStar Software.
The content is too vast to summarize here but what matters is that
While patent license agreements are just a routine deal for traditional IT companies, the significance of this finding lies in how it reflects on Red Hat's credibility:
  • In political and regulatory contexts, the market-leading Linux distributor insists on the false claim that open source licenses (especially the GPL) are absolutely incompatible with the payment of patent royalties (while this simply depends on the specific terms and conditions of a deal).
  • The GPL also serves as Red Hat's pretext for refusing to offer its customers implementations of patent-encumbered standards such as the popular AVC/H.264 video codec.
  • Another important credibility issue is that the world's largest open source company actually fails to be open about its patent-related dealings and positions, a fact that others have criticized before. It hides behind self-imposed confidentiality obligations and employs legalese terminology that in the eyes of many laypeople will appear far more favorable to Red Hat than a straightforward representation of the facts would.
If you are involved in FOSS, it is very important to learn these facts so I urge you to visit the source and read the article in it's entririty.
Thanks Florian.
Red Hat feeds the patent trolls and fools the FOSS community

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