Tom Sanders is reporting that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave a talk at a company event in the UK last week saying that Red Hat customers need to pay Microsoft for its beloved IP, whatever it may consist of:
Users of the Red Hat Linux distribution will have to pay Microsoft for its intellectual property, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has cautioned. "People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us," Ballmer said at a company event discussing online services in the UK last week. A video report of Ballmer's speech was posted online over the weekend.The link doesn't work for me. Maybe it's been taken down? Anyone of you attend that event? I know. It's a long shot. Or if anyone finds the video, please post the url. So, if the report is true, we have an "obligation" to pay. OK. How about this? How about Microsoft has an obligation to reveal its patents or whatever its "intelletual property" is first? How's that? "Intellectual property" doesn't mean anything under the law, unless you specify. So, patents? Copyrights? What? That was SCO's downfall, the refusal or inability to specify. He reportedly said also that he hopes that when reforming patent law people don't throw out the baby with the bathwater and get rid of software patents altogether. Actually, that sounds like a great idea. Let's do.