|FROM ||From: "Inker, Evan"
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] FSF keeps pushing for Microsoft server protocols
|From owner-hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com Fri Nov 25 12:01:51 2005
Received: from www2.mrbrklyn.com (localhost [127.0.0.1])
by www2.mrbrklyn.com (8.13.1/8.13.1/SuSE Linux 0.7) with ESMTP id jAPH1nru005194
for ; Fri, 25 Nov 2005 12:01:51 -0500
Received: (from majordomo-at-localhost)
by www2.mrbrklyn.com (8.13.1/8.13.1/Submit) id jAPH1ndL005193
for hangout-outgoings; Fri, 25 Nov 2005 12:01:49 -0500
X-Authentication-Warning: www2.mrbrklyn.com: majordomo set sender to owner-hangout-at-nylxs.com using -f
Received: from mail57.messagelabs.com (mail57.messagelabs.com [184.108.40.206])
by www2.mrbrklyn.com (8.13.1/8.13.1/SuSE Linux 0.7) with SMTP id jAPH1eWV005186
for ; Fri, 25 Nov 2005 12:01:48 -0500
X-StarScan-Version: 220.127.116.11; banners=-,-,-
Received: (qmail 4796 invoked from network); 25 Nov 2005 17:03:49 -0000
Received: from unknown (HELO w2gw-ldn02.gam.com) (18.104.22.168)
by server-7.tower-57.messagelabs.com with SMTP; 25 Nov 2005 17:03:49 -0000
Received: from ntas-ldn15.gam.com (unverified) by w2gw-ldn02.gam.com
(Content Technologies SMTPRS 4.3.12) with ESMTP id
for ; Fri,
25 Nov 2005 17:03:48 +0000
Received: by ntas-ldn15.gam.com with Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19) id
; Fri, 25 Nov 2005 17:03:48 -0000
From: "Inker, Evan"
Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] FSF keeps pushing for Microsoft server protocols
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 17:02:46 -0000
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2653.19)
FSF keeps pushing for Microsoft server protocols
November 25, 2005, 13:25 GMT
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has applied to intervene in a
case Microsoft filed against the European Commission in August, claiming
that the software giant is trying to protect a technology with little
The FSFE is already involved in Microsoft's ongoing lawsuit, which the
software giant filed in June last year to appeal against the measures
imposed by the EC.
The new case that Microsoft filed in August claims that the EC's request
that server protocol information can be used in open source projects
violates Microsoft's intellectual-property (IP) rights.
"The distribution of source code in which the protocols are implemented
would put the intellectual property that makes up the protocols in the
public domain," said a Microsoft spokesperson on Friday. "There are a range
of different pieces of IP in the protocols, including patents and trade
But Carlo Piana, a partner at Milan law firm Tamos Piana & Partners, which
represents the FSFE, said on Thursday that Microsoft is trying to protect a
technology that has little intrinsic value.
"For the secret stuff Microsoft is claiming, the value of this technology is
yet to be assessed. Most of what you have [in the server protocols] is an
implementation of standard technologies like LDAP, SMB and Kerberos. They
have made a mess of it, but that's not necessarily a technological value,"
Piana compared the value of the information in the server protocols to the
value of a key, claiming that the information is merely being used to
prevent other firms, such as Samba, from creating systems that can access
the information in a Windows server.
"[The server protocols] are just a key Microsoft have hidden under a brick.
Of course the key is valuable because it unlocks the door to the loot, but
the key has very little value on its own," he said.
Jeremy Allison the co-founder of Samba, the open source file and print
server software, said in an interview earlier this year that Samba finds it
difficult to maintain interoperability with Windows servers due to frequent
changes that Microsoft makes to the protocols.
"They make changes to the protocol all the time," he said. "It is usually
some new wrinkle placed on top of things we already have working."
Piana also said that Microsoft's statement that any implementation of the
server interoperability information will infringe the software giant's
intellectual property was "too general".
"We don't disagree that this might happen, but it must be assessed on a per
case basis - you must assess if it is true for each component of the
technology," said Piana.
Piana added that a balance must be struck between Microsoft's interest in
protecting its IP and the European Commission's interest in promoting
"Even if there are parts of Microsoft's intellectual property that are
revealed to the public, it could be reasonable, if you consider the damage
that its anti-competitive behaviour is causing and could cause in the future
to the market," said Piana. "Microsoft cannot say that just because it is
suffering some damage, no steps can be taken."
The Microsoft spokesperson was unable to comment on the FSFE's claims.
The European Commission conducted a market test of Microsoft's server
interoperability licence over the summer to evaluate the "innovative
character of the protocols" and check whether the royalties Microsoft
proposes to charge are "reasonable". On Thursday it was still analysing the
results of the market test, according to an EC spokesman.
The original antitrust ruling also asked Microsoft to offer a version of
Windows without its bundled media player, but PC vendors still have no plans
to sell this the altered version of Windows, almost six months after it was
Copyright (c) 2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
ZDNET is a registered service mark of CNET Networks, Inc. ZDNET Logo is a
service mark of CNET NETWORKS, Inc.
This message contains confidential information and is intended only
for the individual or entity named. If you are not the named addressee
you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail.
Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received
this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system.
E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free
as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive
late or incomplete, or contain viruses. The sender therefore does not
accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this
message which arise as a result of e-mail transmission.
If verification is required please request a hard-copy version.
This message is provided for informational purposes and should not
be construed as an invitation or offer to buy or sell any securities or
related financial instruments.
GAM operates in many jurisdictions and is
regulated or licensed in those jurisdictions as required.