Lobbying against software patents
About Microsoft's patent deals
Commenting on deals such as the Novell-Microsoft patent deals, Canonical's then-CEO Mark Shuttleworth said in 2007:
Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering."
Shuttleworth, speaking in his personal capacity, rejected the possibility of Canonical signing such a deal:
For the record, let me state my position, and I think this is also roughly the position of Canonical and the Ubuntu Community Council though I haven’t caucused with the CC on this specifically.
We have declined to discuss any agreement with Microsoft under the threat of unspecified patent infringements.
Allegations of “infringement of unspecified patents” carry no weight whatsoever. We don’t think they have any legal merit, and they are no incentive for us to work with Microsoft on any of the wonderful things we could do together. A promise by Microsoft not to sue for infringement of unspecified patents has no value at all and is not worth paying for."
- Canonical's G3/08 brief to the EPO, April 2009
- http://irclogs.ubuntu.com/2010/05/04/%23ubuntu-meeting.html#t15:20 (March Shuttleworth is "sabdfl")
- "Open Invention Network Announces Associate Member Program and Recruits Canonical As Its First Associate Member". http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/press_release06_22_10.php.