This link comes from the Hardware 2.0 mailbag.
The Linux community tries again to get Microsoft to come clean over claims that Linux violates Microsoft's intellectual property. This time a website set up calls upon the Redmond giant to Show Us the Code.
The site contains an open letter to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer:
It's come to many in the Linux community’s attention you have claimed again and again, that Linux violates Microsoft's intellectual property. Not only that, but it's been reported Microsoft has convinced businesses to pay for a Linux patent that you can't provide.
Therefore, this website will serve as a response to this accusation, and within it, a request. The request is simple, since you, Microsoft, claim to be so sure of yourself: Show Us the Code.
If Linux developers are made aware of the code, then the code can be omitted and Linux can re-write necessary aspects of the kernel or operating system.
The website goes on to ask for support:
So this is what we're requesting. We are requesting the support of the Linux community. We are calling out to Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Dr. Eric Schmidt, Mark Shuttleworth, Kevin Carmony, and Matthew Szulik, as well as any and all developers for any Linux distribution or any company that feels threatened by your non-existent lawsuits:
Publicly pledge your support for Microsoft showing the public the code within Linux that violates their intellectual property by May 1st, 2007.
And now we get to the really naive part:
If you [Steve Ballmer] or Microsoft cannot comply with a response by the date outlined, everyone who endorses this will consider your threats and claims to be empty and libelous.
I've covered this story here before a few weeks ago and as far as far as I can see nothing has changed. There's no legal reason why Microsoft should do anything by any date (although the company could clear the air if it wished). Microsoft is perfectly within it's rights to sit on any information it has until the time is right to disclose it.
As open source becomes more and more commercialized (or at least there's greater and greater levels of commercial interest) it's going to have to get used to living with the threats of legal action - it's the price that has to be paid for doing anything nowadays it seems.