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NewsForge: HP Memo Forecasts MS Patent Attacks on Free Software

Jul 20, 2004, 12:15 (19 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)

"A two-year old memo from HP executive Gary Campbell to other HP execs has been wending its way around the backrooms of the Internet this past weekend. One of the places it showed up was in the NewsForge submission bin. We held off publishing the memo until we verified its authenticity and gave HP a chance to respond.

"The memo--its full text is provided later in the story, along with HP's response--briefly explains a patent cross-licensing deal between HP and Microsoft. By itself, that's not a big deal, especially since it was sent two years ago. But the memo asserts that 'Microsoft will soon be launching a patent-based legal offensive against Linux and other free software projects.' Leaders in the open source community have been warning of such attacks for some time. The memo reveals there may be very good reason for the worry..."

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