I have written my state's attorney general in the USA to request an antitrust hearing and an immediate gag order.
Dear State Attorney General:
I have a very technical matter to bring up with this state. I encourage the state to take action on behalf of businesses in our state.
Unlike the Microsoft operating system you may have heard of, I am a Linux operating system advocate, trying to start a business, and am writing software for the Linux platform.
Unfortunately, however, I believe Microsoft is exhibiting antitrust characteristics again and I encourage this State to consider taking them back to court again.
In a recent announcement, Microsoft is now saying that Linux infringes on its software patents and is offering cross-licensing deals (a kind of protection racket) to Linux distribution vendors. Novell Corporation, the other day, caved in and signed an agreement with Microsoft. Microsoft, however, will not spell out what exactly these software patent violations are, but is using FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) in the marketplace to maintain Microsoft's dominance of the software industry.
Here is the link to this news item with the Computerworld magazine periodical:
http://www.linuxworld.com.au/pp.php?id= ... amp;fpid=1
This accusation without proof, and the forcing of this hand from the Linux-based software industry, causes great harm to the marketplace of vendors that rebundle Linux distributions or create or sell software for the Linux platform. Customers who see this announcement in the marketplace are less-inclined to purchase a rebundled Linux OS distribution, or purchase software that runs on the Linux platform. Moreover, they may only deal with Linux and Linux-based software vendors who have signed this agreement with Microsoft. I plan to release my software on to the market next year and I may be faced with a diminished market, causing me and my potential corporation some financial damage.
Microsoft oddly seems to think it can stand above its competition and pontificate about its so-called clean intellectual property when in fact it has been proven that it is not so clean. Early copies of Windows NT 3.5 (back in 1993) have been opened with a "binary editor" tool and inside was found a mistake where Microsoft lifted BSD Unix code for its TCP/IP network protocol and didn't even bother to remove the BSD Unix copyright. And their current code was a rewrite from prior art based on this work. Without operating systems such as Unix and Linux, the Internet would not only not be here, but it would be a lot more expensive too. Indeed much of what Microsoft's business model thrives on is through borrowed concepts from Unix and Linux, with the TCP/IP network stack being a classic example of this.
Here is what I believe this State should seek against Microsoft:
* A gag order that prohibits Microsoft, its board membership, employees, or subsidiary companies from claiming software patent violations against any vendor except in a court of law.
* An addendum to the ruling that also prohibits any software company, its board membership, employees, or subsidiary companies from claiming software patent violations against any other vendor except in a court of law. Doing so in this State should be considered libel and harassment, even if done by a company outside of this State.
* Another antitrust case against Microsoft, using this as a classic example of why the company should be broke up into pieces, and no single piece may use the name "Microsoft" for a period of twenty years.
* Financial restitution by Microsoft to the Free Software Foundation, which could then redistribute this award to many open source projects including Linux and Linux-based software.