So the other foot drops in the Microsoft “Open Source” debacle. When I was at EclipseCon, we had Sam Ramji of Microsoft regale us about how MS wasn’t just going to play in Open Source like everyone else, they had in fact invented Open Source. It was a talk so boring, that I left half way through it.
In any event, today we find out how open the source is.
Royalties are the admission price Microsoft tells freetards
Microsoft wants to license Windows patents to open source companies in the same way it’s licensed patents to companies like Motorola in the past. “Because cathedrals can do agreements with each other its possible to sit down with the companies we have and say: ‘Let’s see what we can work out that works for you and our business’.”
Smith was borrowing the phrase “cathedrals” from Eric Raymond’s book The Cathedral and the Bazaar, which talks about the open source, or bazaar, method of development versus the traditional vendor approach. “We’d be prepared to sit down with any entity that can deal with the issue in real terms,” Smith said.
It’s a vital emphasis, and one that could harm technology and business innovation in open source. Many open source products and businesses today have begun life with individuals or groups of individuals working on projects, unencumbered by worries about the ability of their project to support royalty payments to a patent owner down the line.
“We are much better connected with the open source community today, we love open source software running on Windows and we are working to interoperate with it,” Smith said. ” But I can’t give you an answer saying: ‘Here’s the blank check,’ he told OSBC.
Having made Microsoft’s position clear, Smith called for a willingness in the open source community to compromise in negotiations and solve problems. In translation, that appeared to mean: stop requesting publication of all Microsoft patents under a royalty free license. According to Smith a solution can be reached to “normalize the IP relations” to “reach almost all spectrums”