Tuesday, August 02, 2005

EU lawmakers threaten open source

It looks like the Microsoft/SCO lobby is hard at work in Europe. Mind you a company called Google runs on Linux (when you use Google, you are being served by Linux-based servers), so Microsoft can put itself in a win-win situation by not only killing Linux with such a law (something it is anxious to do) using alleged IP claims, but also get Google thrown into the klink as well (since Google uses Linux, which they will argue infringes on Microsoft IP, Google must pay tribute to The Beast of Redmond or die). Good strategy. It'll take time, but I think it will work.

The European Commission has proposed a law that could allow criminal charges to be pressed against businesses using software that is believed to infringe upon another company's intellectual property (IP).

The proposed directive, which was adopted by the European Commission last month, would allow criminal sanctions against "all intentional infringements of an IP right on a commercial scale".

Richard Penfold, a partner at law firm DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, said last week that the proposed directive could "quite possibly" allow the imprisonment of the boss of a company that is using infringing software, although it would depend on whether the defendant can argue that the infringement was unintentional.


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