by Mike Masnick
Thu, Aug 2nd 2007 3:43am
Earlier this year, Microsoft made some news by claiming (not for the first time) that Linux violated all sorts of Microsoft patents, though it refused to name a single one. This seemed like a pretty sleazy strategy not just to get companies to license patents from Microsoft even though there was no proven need to do so, but also to scare some companies off from using Linux in the first place. It appears, unfortunately, that such efforts are having some effect. A new study found that the number one inhibitor against open source adoption was fear of patent or copyright infringement. Of course, the news isn't that bad, since it sounds like the benefits of open source software (price, stability, features, etc.) tend to outweigh that one fear in many cases. However, don't be surprised if Microsoft continues to play this card over and over again. Once again, though, it shows how intellectual property isn't being used to promote innovation, but to hold back innovation by creating uncertainty and fear in the market.
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