More attribution

Story: Good Artists Copy, Great Artists StealTotal Replies: 8
Author Content

Mar 09, 2010
7:12 PM EDT
This one IS Jonathan. :P

Mar 10, 2010
2:01 AM EDT
Have you ever had one of those says? ;-) I have..


Mar 10, 2010
7:21 AM EDT
That aside, awesome article! Very interesting "from the horse's mouth" reading.

Mar 10, 2010
7:39 AM EDT
I think this is very interesting, in the light of all the angst over Mono.

Quoting: As in life, bluster and threat are commonplace in business – especially the technology business. So that interaction was good preparation for a later meeting with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. They’d flown in over a weekend to meet with Scott McNealy, Sun’s then CEO – who asked me and Greg Papadopoulos (Sun’s CTO) to accompany him. As we sat down in our Menlo Park conference room, Bill skipped the small talk, and went straight to the point, “Microsoft owns the office productivity market, and our patents read all over OpenOffice.” OpenOffice is a free office productivity suite found on tens of millions of desktops worldwide. It’s a tremendous brand ambassador for its owner – it also limits the appeal of Microsoft Office to businesses and those forced to pirate it. Bill was delivering a slightly more sophisticated variant of the threat Steve had made, but he had a different solution in mind. “We’re happy to get you under license.” That was code for “We’ll go away if you pay us a royalty for every download” – the digital version of a protection racket.

Royalty bearing free software? Jumbo shrimp. (Oxymoron.)

But fearing this was on the agenda, we were prepared for the meeting. Microsoft is no stranger to imitating successful products, then leveraging their distribution power to eliminate a competitive threat – from tablet computing to search engines, their inspiration is often obvious (I’m trying to like Bing, I really am). So when they created their web application platform, .NET, it was obvious their designers had been staring at Java – which was exactly my retort. “We’ve looked at .NET, and you’re trampling all over a huge number of Java patents. So what will you pay us for every copy of Windows?” Bill explained the software business was all about building variable revenue streams from a fixed engineering cost base, so royalties didn’t fit with their model… which is to say, it was a short meeting.

Mar 10, 2010
7:46 AM EDT
I especially like the part about the patent on patent trolling. I sure wish I'd have thought of that!

Mar 10, 2010
8:23 AM EDT
Yeah, I thought it was quite interesting as well.

Apple/MS: You're stepping on our (probably invalid) patents! Pay us monies!

Sun: Take a look at this list. Do you REALLY want to start a patent fight?

Apple/MS: Um...uh....nevermind...

Mar 10, 2010
11:12 AM EDT
This also shows if you have nothing to offer in return.

Novell, Sun etc., they have patents themselves which affect Apple / Microsoft. Sun didn't have patents which affected Kodak, TomTom probably didn't have patents which affected Microsoft - and the list goes on.

Therefore OIN is a good thing I guess, if TomTom-like companies join OIN they'd have some 'ransom'.

Mar 10, 2010
1:03 PM EDT
I am sorry guys for getting the Authors wrong on these would think I would know'd think..;-)

Mar 10, 2010
1:48 PM EDT
hehe. Well, the first article the author wasn't really obvious. This article it was kinda obvious if you noticed the actual url, but he doesn't actually have his name in the article anywhere.

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