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Re: Microsoft possibly to sue RedHat?



You can't sue them for libel, exactly, but you can preempt a suit by seeking a declaratory injunction that tell them to either hurry up and sue you (i.e. settle in court) or STFU. Veoh recently sued Universal for continually claiming Veoh was violating their copyrights.

Red Hat did something similar to SCO (R.I.P. -- 2007) seeking a permanent injunction re: SCOs anti-Linux lies and two more seeking declarations that Red Hat violated neither copyright or trade law cases. This happened because SCO began harassing Red Hat customers in an attempt to collect license fees they were not owed. This was put on hold by the judge in lieu of the IBM/SCO case, but did seem to get SCO to lay off the public FUD and extortion attempts.

M$ laid the ground work for this in their back alley deals with Novell, the subsequent (failed) attempt to get Red Hat and Ubuntu to likewise sell their souls, and before all that did a dry run with it in their transparent backing of SCO. So I doubt Red Hat is surprised and/or unprepared for this situation and we might see them preemptively sue M$. That is if you can prove anyone actually takes anything Ballmer says sincerely. :-D

You do this to control the case (i.e. the best defense is a good offense) as well as establish a legal foundation to seek damages, but it also serves to win favor in the court of public opinion.

--jeremy

On 10/11/07, Herman Meester <crazymulgogi gmail com> wrote:


2007/10/11, Marc Wiriadisastra <marc mwiriadi id au>:
Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> Marc Wiriadisastra wrote:
>> http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2200717/microsoft-sharpens-aims-patent
>>
>> "People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual
>> property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us," Ballmer
>> said last week at a company event in London discussing online
>> services in the UK.
>>
>> Is this going to affect Fedora indirectly?
>
> (Speaking for myself)
>
> We can only speculate on what is planned.  Depends on whether this is
> marketing FUD or legal action, it can affect everyone involved and not
> just Fedora. Note the careful use of "People who use Red Hat" and not
> Red Hat itself. Also the comments were made in London and not U.S and
> that's important because different regions have difference laws on
> what constitutes false advertising.
>
> This one has the entire talk and you can see for yourself how well
> this plays into the Microsoft Novell patent deal earlier.
>
> http://www.betanews.com/article/Microsoft_Scrambling_to_Explain_Ballmer_Comment_on_Red_Hat_Linux/1191963805
>
>
> Some other relevant links
>
> http://tieguy.org/blog/2007/10/10/on-joe-on-patents/
> http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2193713,00.asp
> http://www.press.redhat.com/2007/05/14/deploy-with-confidence/
>
> Rahul
>
My understanding is that the UK would still have Trade Practices Law (I
study it at uni atm) which would constitute Misleading conduct on
Microsoft's behalf.

It could also be construed as Defamatory or Libel since he is defaming
RedHat before you couldn't really question it because he was labeling
Linux users very broad.  In this speech he singled out RedHat.

I know you guys at RedHat Legal will look at it but yeah it was
something I was shocked about when I read it.

Cheers,

Marc

I´ve said it for over a year now, Red Hat should sue Microsoft for libel.
It is important to understand that MS will not sue anyone. They have said so in internal documents that became public due to lawsuits against MS. Everything they say is meant to make potential open source customers feel uncomfortable about not using MS´stuff.
I´d say RH has a very good chance of winning such a lawsuit.


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