Red Hat and patents: Much ado about nothing

Is Red Hat capitulating on patents? Not even close.

Slashdot has been set alight with the sensationalist proposition that Red Hat may be applying for non-defensive patents, despite its stated policy of only seeking patents for defensive purposes. Ironically, some are pointing to Red Hat's interoperability deal with Microsoft, which specifically and emphatically stressed that it steered clear of the same patent minefields that plagued Novell's deal with Microsoft.

This is ridiculous. Red Hat has never varied from its free-software ideals. Some people are so determined to think the worst of Microsoft that they unreasonably devise conspiracy theories for any person or company that has the slightest connection to the Redmond giant.

Just as news starts to break that Novell isn't deriving much love anymore from its Microsoft partnership, do we really think that Red Hat is selling out to Microsoft? More germane to this post, do we really have any reason to believe the Red Hat has started to backslide on the ideals that have grounded the company for over a decade?

Get real. Be reasonable. Settle down.

Follow me on Twitter at mjasay.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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