decoration decoration
Stories

GROKLAW
When you want to know more...
decoration
For layout only
Home
Archives
Site Map
Search
About Groklaw
Awards
Legal Research
Timelines
ApplevSamsung
ApplevSamsung p.2
ArchiveExplorer
Autozone
Bilski
Cases
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Contracts/Documents
Courts
DRM
Gordon v MS
GPL
Grokdoc
HTML How To
IPI v RH
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
Lodsys
MS Litigations
MSvB&N
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
ODF/OOXML
OOXML Appeals
OraclevGoogle
Patents
ProjectMonterey
Psystar
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v IBM
SCO v Novell
SCO:Soup2Nuts
SCOsource
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Transcripts
Unix Books
Your contributions keep Groklaw going.
To donate to Groklaw 2.0:

Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Contact PJ

Click here to email PJ. You won't find me on Facebook Donate Paypal


User Functions

Username:

Password:

Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.


What's New

STORIES
No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


Sponsors

Hosting:
hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

Webmaster
Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Friday, June 22 2007 @ 09:35 AM EDT

This is too funny not to show you. Microsoft has a site for downloads of various software products, not just their own. It's called Windows Marketplace. Yesterday, for a brief shining moment, you and 10,000 or so other people could and did download Ubuntu Linux from a link on that page -- thank you, Google Cache -- which sent viewers to CNET for the download.

According to that page, Ubuntu is perfect:

Note: This is the desktop version of Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops, and servers. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and e-mail applications, to Web server software and programming tools. Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing.Version 7.04, named "Feisty Fawn," adds the Ubuntu Studio, a multimedia editing and production suite, to the distribution.

Heaven only knows that's true, simply perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. The part Microsoft got wrong is it says the license is "Free" and "No limitations". Actually, the GPL does set some limitations, like what you are responsible to do if you redistribute.

So you know I'm not making it up and because Microsoft already removed the page and I know that even in Google cache it isn't long for this world:

And here's the part about no limitations:


  


Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek! | 300 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek.
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 09:47 AM EDT
Woohoo!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Here
Authored by: feldegast on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 09:48 AM EDT
So they can be fixed

---
IANAL
My posts are ©2004-2007 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Let us all remember those who will be fired for this N/T
Authored by: Winter on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 09:49 AM EDT
Let us all remember those who will be fired for this N/T

Rob

---
Some say the sun rises in the east, some say it rises in the west; the truth
lies probably somewhere in between.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic Thread
Authored by: MathFox on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 09:55 AM EDT
Other Open Source and Legal issues in this thread. If you know HTML, make a link
by following the instructions in red under the comment editor (and select HTML
mode for the post).

---
If an axiomatic system can be proven to be consistent and complete from within
itself, then it is inconsistent.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 09:58 AM EDT
I have a couple of observtions:

1. Notice the category for the Ubuntu download on the Windows marketplace web
page:
Downloads> Utility Downloads> System Downloads> Driver
Downloads> BIOS & System Update Downloads> Ubuntu Desktop

Since Ubuntu isn't a BIOS update, Microsoft must be saying that ubuntu is a
"System Upgrade" to MS Windows. That's a hoot. It's worth saving this
page for poserity just to show your friends that one.

2. Since they are only providing a link to the CNET web site for the download,
I'm assuming that they can claim that they did not distribute?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Huh? The GPL is not "Free" and there are"Limitations"?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 10:07 AM EDT
But ... but ... I was told for years that the GPL was "Free" and there
are "No limitations"?
Or was that only for future users after I redistribute, not for me?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: Jimbob0i0 on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 10:22 AM EDT
I saw this yesterday on digg...

One of the funniest things was the compatibility listing - every version of
windows from 3.1 up to 2003 and beyond ;)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: daWabbit on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 10:39 AM EDT
Someone in my LUG got a copy there. He's copying it for those of us who want a
copy from a "special" or "unusual" source. :)

Jack

---
"There ain't no reason I should work this hard when I can live off the chickens
in my neighbor's yard" -Bruno Wolfe

[ Reply to This | # ]

...the part about no limitations:
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 10:53 AM EDT
"Uninstaller included: No"

I believe Ubuntu and other Linux distributions include several uninstallers: fdisk, parted, etc.

---
"While world domination is a nice fantasy, a Free computer is essential." 
  --artp, Groklaw, 2007-06

[ Reply to This | # ]

Curiosity
Authored by: Wardo on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 10:56 AM EDT
How are items added to this Windows Marketplace page? I would expect a
submit/review process, or total control by MS as the options. Hard to believe
that a non-MS user would be able to post a link there. (Or they won't be able
to do so in the future...)

---
caveat lector...
Wardo = new user(lawyer = FALSE,badTypist = TRUE,badSpeller = TRUE);

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ubunto.com says so
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 11:01 AM EDT
Ubunto.com says it's perfect:
"Ubuntu is a community developed, linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers."

Ubunto.com says it's free:
"Ubuntu will always be free of charge, including enterprise releases and security updates."

And they should know! So what did Microsoft do wrong?

[ Reply to This | # ]

"...help a user to migrate from Windows to Linux automatically."
Authored by: PSaltyDS on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 11:11 AM EDT
A search for "Ubuntu" turns up no results anymore, but they still have results for "Linux". These include LSP Basic:

"LSP can help a user to migrate from Windows to Linux automatically.LSP will automatically transfer all shared files on Windows server to Linux server directly. And all permission property still preserved (for example, a directory "C: lsp" which is shared as "LSP", and only read by Adam and written by Emma). LSP also provides a File Manager, which looks like that on Microsoft. The most important function is that it will allow user to configure the above file sharing permissions on this File Manager GUI with mouse!LSP will automatically transfer all users/ passwords/ groups to Linux. And it will also rebuild relationship between group and users! Windows clients can login to same domain without changing domain name, password, and username."

Hmm... migrate from 2000/XP to Vista for brazillions, or to Linux with a $65 utility that Microsoft is pushing...?

:-)

---
"Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced." - Geek's Corollary to Clarke's Law

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 11:23 AM EDT
Does this make Microsoft even more of a distributor of Linux than they already
are?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Also OpenOffice.org
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 11:24 AM EDT
http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:zJDT8HJn1ukJ:www.windowsmarketplace.com/det
ails.aspx%3Fitemid%3D1108779+openoffice+site:windowsmarketplace.com&hl=it&am
p;ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

[ Reply to This | # ]

Searched Microsoft's For "Ubuntu" - Zero
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 11:26 AM EDT
Did a search for Ubuntu on Micro$oft and zero:

"No results found for ubuntu"

[ Reply to This | # ]

So did MS just distribute Linux under the GPL?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 11:33 AM EDT
Are they now bound by its conditions?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Limitations?
Authored by: iabervon on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 12:15 PM EDT
I think the "Limitations" item is the limitations on downloading it,
not on what you do with it afterwards. All of the things seem to have "No
limitations" aside from ones with a lock icon, which don't seem to have
that line in the details at all. I don't think their setup even considers the
possibility that someone would distribute their downloaded file instead of
distributing the link to the download.

And, for that matter, the Ubuntu download is probably a GPLv2 clause 3b
distribution with the offer embedded, in which case passing the disc around the
office is a legal 3c distribution. If you don't modify the ISO, I don't think
you can fall afoul of the GPL by distributing it. (Actually, Ubuntu's
distribution is probably 3b, and CNet's is probably already 3c.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ubuntu & GPL
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 12:28 PM EDT
Ubuntu itself is not GPL since it is not an application but a distribution.

Of course, some very important components of Ubuntu are GPL (the kernel, the GNU
tools, ...) but even more are distributed using another licence (e.g. Xorg,
Apache, ...).


[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's AntiFOSS Patent FUD Wrecked?
Authored by: Simon G Best on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 12:45 PM EDT

Some commenters have been asking if Microsoft's apparent inclusion of links to Linux-based distributions, and the like, constitutes distribution on Microsoft's part. But I'm wondering something else, but not entirely dissimilar.

I haven't (yet) looked at that Windows Marketplace site (or whatever it's called) in any detail, but I was wondering if it now means that Microsoft have promoted and encouraged distribution of various FOSS works that are distributed under GPL with all that that entails and implies. And I'm imagining the following kind of scenario.

Imagine Microsoft suing a FOSS user for alleged patent infringement. Imagine that Microsoft's claimed patent is allegedly infringed by (use and/or installation of) a piece of software that Microsoft promoted and encouraged the distribution of, under the GPL, on one of its own websites. (This isn't a matter of Microsoft actually distributing the software itself; merely promoting and encouraging its distribution.)

Imagine the FOSS user pointing to Microsoft's promotion of that software's distribution, and arguing that since Microsoft chose to promote its distribution when it was being distributed under the GPL, Microsoft must therefore have consented to such GPLed distribution, with all that that implies and entails. Therefore, the user may then argue, it was entirely reasonable for that user to conclude that Microsoft had no objections to subsequent use of that GPLed software. Microsoft, the user would argue, implicitly licensed such use by promoting and encouraging the distribution of that software under the GPL.

I'm not a lawyer, but would arguments along such lines work? Have Microsoft now blown their patent FUD most spectacularly? Have Microsoft blundered so badly as to lose the patent war before even firing their first, real shot? Can we now declare victory?

---
"Public relations" is a public relations term for propaganda.

[ Reply to This | # ]

What about their obligation to provide source
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 12:51 PM EDT
As I understand it they now are obliged to make the source code available to
anyone who might have downloaded the binaries from them. What a hoot.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Monopoly Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Wow! Some cached thoughts.
Authored by: webster on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 01:12 PM EDT
..
Wow!

1. They have just compromised every patent they own. Since their patent
threats against Linux have been unspecified, they will have to show any alleged
patent thief that the patent is not in Linux.

2. Is this distributing Linux? It certainly is aiding and abetting. Street
hustlers are doing felony time for doing less than this. If you jump between
determined buyers and sellers and help them make a deal, you are in the
distributing business. And they can't say they didn't get any money. Who pays
money for downloading free software?

3. You can be sure that every Linux distributor downloaded from this referral
or will get a copy from someone who did. It adds a layer of defense. It is
something more significant for the Monopoly to overcome. It is another reason
to deter them from going to court against Linux.

4. It is fabulous counter to FUD! The Monopoly itself says it is Perfect!
They link to it. It must be okay. Monopoly salesmen will have to choke this
down.

5. Add the criminal concept "entrapment" to the Monopoly conduct.
Why would they praise Linux as perfect, link to it, and then attack those who
follow their suggestion as violating their patents? They are promoting the
supposed harm to themselves. It reeks of waiver and estoppel here.

6. The Monopoly is not going to get away with saying they don't know what an
EULA or GPL is.

7. There are other distributions of Linux referenced to this day. They have
probably been there for a a long time. Clearly the Monopoly has been trifling
with the GPL, by this Marketplace site and by their Novell, Xandros, and
Linspire deals. They are going to plead ignorance and lack of intent. It is
not going to fly given their destructive, antitrust, monopoly motives.

8. As long as no government stands up to the Monopoly and the retailers play
ball with them, nothin' is gonna change.

---
webster

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's & Dell No Dell Ubuntu Sales To Businesses!!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 01:26 PM EDT
Reported yesterday on Slashdot.

Dell refused to sell to a small business; a Dell computer with Ubuntu installed.
But would sell a Dell with Ubuntu installed for home use.

But would not take this person's credit card - to buy a Dell/Ubuntu computer for
home use - by using a credit card with the small business name on it!

And there's no deal with Ubuntu and Micro$oft (and (Dell)?

Sure ......

[ Reply to This | # ]

In fact they had not 1, but 2 Ubuntu offerings...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 01:37 PM EDT

They were also shipping Wubi

Wubi on windows Marketplace (Google cache)

Albeit an older version...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 01:38 PM EDT
This isn't a story. They link to a place to get the software. The info on
their page is from Download.com. they probably have an agreement to
automatically add content from Download.com (and Tucows is often the home for
software on the marketplace as well) and this made it in because it was listed
in the wrong place. They had the license listed as free because it's listed as
Free on Download.com.

It sounds like this is more a case of why Download.com has it listed there and
why it's listed as a free license.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 01:59 PM EDT
The concept of the license type being "free" seems ambiguous and/or
purposely misleading. An actual description of the license(s) that apply to the
software, or saying something like "OSI approved" would be much more
accurate, especially considering the kinds of things the other operating systems
would have for "License Type".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: smesplay on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 02:22 PM EDT
Here are some other offerings from windowsmarketplace.com:

Linux stuff

and netcraft.com info about windowsmarketplace.com

Site report for www.windowsmarketplace.com

---
Linux is anti-competitive?
is that anti-competitive as in making the other guy work harder?
or anti-competitive as in Microsoft?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 02:45 PM EDT
The link
http://www.windowsmarketplace.com/details.aspx?view=info&itemid=3411347

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: BobinAlaska on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 02:57 PM EDT
For grins, I decided to download Tux Walks form Windows marketplace. It asked
me to sign in with my Windows Live ID and password. This is probably for the fee
software, but why ask for it for free software?

---
Bob Helm, Juneau, Alaska

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: BassSinger on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 03:25 PM EDT
So, here I am mildly curious how many people have lost their jobs today over
this little gaffe.

---
In A Chord,

Tom

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created
them." -- Albert Einstein

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tired of People Knocking Microsoft
Authored by: maco on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 03:32 PM EDT
Yesterday I bought a Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse, and, except for the
unused buttons on the top, I must say the quality is very high.

The only problem was the documentation, which said I must load some software
before plugging into the USB - with Ubuntu it just worked - so I don't
understand why they provided that CD at all.

I'm sorry I'm not in a position to comment on Microsoft's other fine products,
but from first hand experience their keyboards and mice are first rate, and I
can only assume that quality is displayed through out their entire product line.

[ Reply to This | # ]

GPL: no limitations (if viewed as copyrighted)
Authored by: xtifr on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 03:48 PM EDT

Technically, the GPL contains no limitations. What it contains is limited freedoms! (Limited, many would argue, only in the sense of "your right to swing your fist ends where my nose starts". But that's a side issue.) Compared to a copyrighted work with no license, the GPL (and other licenses in Ubuntu) has no limitations. The only things it forbids are things you have no right to do in the first place. There is (at least) no End User license in Ubuntu.

Of course, compared to a public domain work, it definitely has limitations. Which is why these debates come up again and again. But it's certainly possible to argue that the claim that Ubuntu's license has no limitations is technically correct, even though it could also be argued to be misleading. (And I think we all know that MS is a master of the technically-correct-but-misleading.)

---
Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards, for it makes them soggy and hard to light.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • FUD - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 05:13 PM EDT
    • FUD - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 05:53 PM EDT
    • no, perspective - Authored by: xtifr on Saturday, June 23 2007 @ 04:34 PM EDT
Patents
Authored by: kberrien on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 04:33 PM EDT
Nice to see Microsoft apparently condones its alleged 235 patents in Ubuntu!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who Posted The Link?
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 04:38 PM EDT
Everyone seems to be of the opinion that someone at Microsoft posted the link.
I'm not sure this is a valid assumption. I think the Microsoft Windows
Marketplace is a web site provided by Microsoft for it's "partners" to
market THEIR products for use with Windows.

I suspect that someone got "partner" status and put the Ubuntu link
out the as a joke. I suspect that they didn't expect as much play as they got
and I doubt they adequately anticipated the response from Microsoft. :)

IF this was posted by a MicroSoft employee, I suspect that "employee",
in this case, is probably past tense...

[ Reply to This | # ]

No limitations - misunderstanding the terminology + missing the point
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 06:52 PM EDT
The article misses the point, as do most of the comments.

On the site in question "No limitations" refers to functional
limitations, or eliminated features.

For example, if a demo version of a non-open sourec commercial word processor
was available on this site, the author of the word processor might disable Save
or Print or limit the max document to 3 pages. And then in the limitations
field it would say "No Save. No Print. Maximum document length = 3
pages".

Or if there was game, but you could only play the first 3 levels on the free
download the limitations field would say something like "Limitations: You
can only play first 3 levels in free version. You must pay to get the other 97
levels."

And if on the other hand, the author didn't disable any features in his program,
then the site would say "No limitations"

This is exactly the same methodology and terminology. used on most of the other
shareware/commercial/demo download sites.

It has nothing to do with the license the software is under. It simply refers
to the functional limitations, if any, present in the free download of the
software as opposed to fuller/paid/CD/other versions.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: Michelle Readman on Friday, June 22 2007 @ 09:59 PM EDT
The story here sadly isn't that MS are directly promoting linux, but rather it
is a cautionary tale of what happens when you directly use feeds without
checking their contents.

After having a look around, it seems that the marketplace mostly gets it's
listings directly from a number of major program hosting sites. Windows Live
Marketplace is simply an aggregator service

The fact that the original entry was on CNET makes sense, since this is
mentioned as one of the better automatic sources to have hosting your program.

What's interesting, however, is a reply post's title I caught whilst skimming.
Apparently simply linking to DeCSS can count as distributing it. If that's
actually the case, then... snickering at MS would be well justified :P

[ Reply to This | # ]

Windows Vista is far more secure than Linux
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, June 23 2007 @ 06:21 AM EDT
No joke, it's all over the news and I don't find any articles to contradict
these articles.

For me I'll just keep using Vector Linux and I'm not going to worry about it.

What do you make of this current news item?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Ubuntu passes WGA test too
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, June 23 2007 @ 09:47 AM EDT
As you can see here or Youtube.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Eek!
Authored by: Mp3rocks on Saturday, June 23 2007 @ 11:28 PM EDT
I thought "Eek!" was an utterance reserved for spottng a mouse. Must have been a
Microsoft mouse.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Eek! - Authored by: jmc on Sunday, June 24 2007 @ 07:07 AM EDT
Text of the Article seems to be from Download.com (or Canonical)
Authored by: afruss on Sunday, June 24 2007 @ 07:20 AM EDT
Hi, I did a search on the net for the description used on Microsofts site, and it seems to be a exact copy of what is on download.com's server Ubuntu Desktop 7.04 . I also found it on Tech republic too Ubuntu Desktop (04-desktop-i386)

So it could even have it's origin at Canonical itself.

So I would presume that Microsoft got the software as a RSS feed (or Excel spreadsheet ... hur hur hur) and just pumped it onto their web-site. This would be a classic blunder, not intentional.

So, tinfoil hats off guys.

Andrew.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft's Windows Marketplace: "Ubuntu is perfect!" -- Eek!
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, June 24 2007 @ 09:11 AM EDT
Wouldn't probably fly as one of the key arguments against the "but SCO
distributed Linux themselves!" is that this doesn't mean they were aware of
any copyright or patent violations.

It's rather simple: suppose Mr A has a copyright for an image processing
algorithm (OK, the implementation of it, not the algorithm itself). Company B
puts this illegally in their product "SuperPainter 2.0". Now Mr A
opens a software store where he sells SuperPainter 2.0. Does that mean he waived
all rights to claim infringement? Of course not.
Similarly, M$ cannot possibly waive patent claims by simply stating "this
product is available for free" (or linking to a download) when they can
still claim they had no idea - at the time - that there was infringement and how
exactly it was being carried out.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )