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SubjectRe: Linux in a binary world... a doomsday scenario
On 12/5/05, Arjan van de Ven <arjan@infradead.org> wrote:
> Linux in a binary world

Why not start our own Linux doomsday? Give the closed source vendors
exactly what they fear the most, a patent lawsuit. Whining will get us
nowhere, hitting the vendor's revenue stream will get you anything you
want.

US patent infringement provides the giant sledgehammer of having a
court issue an injunction stopping the shipment of product that is in
litigation over patent infringement. Note that it does not have to be
proven that the the patents are valid. RIM is very close to having an
injunction issued against it even though it is likely that the patents
they are accused of violating will be found invalid.

The game plan is simple. IBM and Intel hold enough hardware patents to
take down any hardware company these choose. Donate one or two key
patents to the FSF with a rule that they can't be used against the
company that donated them. The FSF then moves for a patent
infringement injunction against ATI, NVidia or other closed source
vendor.

The target company gets a choice:

1) open source the drivers and hardware. As a sweetener contribute a
patent to the pool and aim the FSF at the next domino. In exchange the
suit will be dropped.

2) Endure the lawsuit and hope the FSF doesn't get a $450M settlement
like NTP is getting from RIM. Meanwhile watch your stock price tumble
since the injunction prevents you from shipping product.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-ebay4dec04,0,6943666.story?coll=la-news-comment-editorials

--
Jon Smirl
jonsmirl@gmail.com
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