Hey Microsoft, Sue Me First
I bought the domain name HeyMicrosoftSueMe.org at the suggestion of Marcel Gagné after posting a blog entry on the topic. The idea was to ask Linux users to join me in calling Microsoft's bluff. Let's get the patent infringement claims tried in court and get this over with. Several people talked me out of it. Fortunately, a lawyer named Christian Einfeldt had the same idea and followed through. Here's a copy of Marcel's entry on the topic from his own blog, with a link to the "Sue me first Microsoft list" in case you want to add your own name. Christof, if you're reading this, you're welcome to the domain name HeyMicrosoftSueMe.org.
Want to get sued by Microsoft? Then read on. At the end of this post, you'll have your opportunity. By now, you've no doubt heard the story that Microsoft claims that Linux and FOSS violates at least 235 of their patents. Once again, Microsoft innnovates through intimidation and litigation. Does anyone really think they'll come clean as to which patents Linux supposedly violates? To quote Ballmer, "What's fair is fair." Well, fair comes with a price, even for the mega-rich like Mr. Ballmer. If he honestly means what he says, that is. In that corner wherein our wildest imagination wanders about, can we even begin to conceive that Microsoft might allow their closed source to be examined for the patents it might violate?
Among my favorite lines in the article is "The Redmond behemoth asserts that one reason free software is of such high quality is that it violates more than 200 of Microsoft's patents." In other words, only commercial software could be of high quality so if free software is good, it must have stolen from non-free software. If it's got to be commercial to be good, then you have to wonder what their excuse is for putting out so much crap.
Well, Christian Einfeldt, over at the Digital Tipping Point, has thrown down the virtual gauntlet and started an online petition where signees request that Microsoft sue them first. Or to put it another way, "Hey, Microsoft! Put up or shut up!" To add your name to Christian's list, head over to his Sue me first Microsoft list.