Samba is beneficiary of Microsoft-EU deal

Samba is beneficiary of Microsoft-EU deal

Summary: Samba will be a direct beneficiary of Microsoft's agreement to cooperate with the European Union, which was announced today.

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Eben Moglen, Software Freedom Law CenterSamba will be a direct beneficiary of Microsoft's agreement to cooperate with the European Union, which was announced today.

The agreement is that Samba will get assured compatibility with Microsoft Workgroup protocols through a group called the Protocol Freedom Information Foundation, which is chartered in Delaware.

The PFIF is paying $15,000 for the documentation.

The practical impact is that Microsoft can no longer "break" Samba by changing protocol formats. Samba enables Linux servers to exchange data with Windows servers, and is distributed under the GPL.

The ongoing fear for Samba was that, since it translates data into Microsoft formats, Microsoft might go after it in court for infringing on its patents. That fear is no more.

Andrew Tridgell of Google, who is the original developer of Samba, and Eben Moglen of the Software Freedom Law Center, who set up the PFIF, both helped negotiate the deal.

It's important to note that the interoperability code is not being made public. It is merely being transferred, via the PFIF, to the Samba project.

You might think of this as Eben's Christmas present to the community. His beard gets more like St. Nick's every year!

Topics: Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Open Source, Operating Systems, Servers, Software, Windows

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7 comments
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  • Corrections

    [i]The ongoing fear for Samba was that, since it translates data into Microsoft formats, Microsoft might go after it in court for infringing on its patents. That fear is no more.[/i]

    Wrong. The deal contains no patent licenses.

    However, Microsoft has provided a list of its patents which [b]might[/b] read on Samba, so the project only has a finite search space. Per Jeremy Allison, the team will remove any infringing code that they find (or, obviously, prove the patents invalid.)

    [i]It?s important to note that the interoperability code is not being made public. It is merely being transferred, via the PFIF, to the Samba project.[/i]

    The [u]code[/u] [i]is[/i] being made public (it is, after all, GPL.) Microsoft's [u]documentation[/u] is not.
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • RE: Samba is beneficiary of Microsoft-EU deal

    I think the actual number is 10,000 Euros, which comes to slightly less than USD15,000.
    daengbo
  • So who is recieving the $15,000?

    And what is he who receives the benefits of a transaction called?

    Why a BENEFICIARY, I believe, at least the last time I looked!

    No, Samba is NOT the beneficiary. Microsoft is the beneficiary. Samba is the payee, who must pay the monopoly to let their products interface with the products that the monopoly produces, by virtue of the fact that they are a monopoly who controls the majority of the market.

    Don't you just love the way all journalists use words to twist the facts around and run everything backward? And how the proletariat just eats it up?
    Ole Man
    • Samba will benefit..

      from access to the documents. So in that sense they are a beneficiary. Microsoft was willing to pay legal fees far in excess of $15,000 in order to hide their interface documents. So they were forced (correctly in my opion) to share the documents in a way that didn't preclude SAMBA from distributing under the GPL. After stripping Microsoft of it use of secret interface specifications, the EU gave Microsoft a figleaf - somebody would have to pay a nominal fee and Microsoft's documents, but not their content, would not be made public. Microsoft lost and SAMBA won. The decision did not benefit Microsoft, so I would not call them the beneficary.
      shis-ka-bob
      • Legal doublespeak is the most popular product available today

        And while I recognize it, in no way do I
        accept it.

        A slap on the wrist to a crook in no wise
        makes the victim of a crime the beneficiary.

        The quasi-legal manipulation of the computer
        industry by Microsoft is, for all practical
        purposes, a crime.
        Ole Man
        • I share your disgust

          Especially after reading the Combs vs. Microsoft documents, I am disgusted with Microsoft's business practices. But ranting about it doesn't let me make a difference. Instead, I showed my employer some of the documents and ask them if this is really a company that they would trust as a partner. Then I had a more receptive audience when I discussed other options.
          shis-ka-bob
          • Good show! Congratulations!

            Since I don't have an employer, I can't
            recommend anything to them.

            While my posts may appear to be ranting to
            some (especially if they're in Microsoft's
            pocket), it is intended to inform anyone who
            isn't aware of what is transpiring.

            An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
            cure. If I can prevent anyone from being a
            victim, it is worth being labeled a zealot,
            or any other term Microsoft henchmen wish to
            pin on me.
            Ole Man