[conspire] Seen on Groklaw

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jun 22 13:51:14 PDT 2007


Patents In Linux
Authored by: DannyB on Tuesday, June 19 2007 @ 01:21 PM EDT

Microsoft: So, it is down to you, and it is down to me...if you wish
Linux dead, by all means keep moving forward.

IBM: Let me explain...

Microsoft: There's nothing to explain. You're trying to free what I have
rightfully stolen.

IBM: Perhaps an arrangement can be reached?

Microsoft: There will be no arrangements...and you're killing Linux.

IBM: But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.

Microsoft: I'm afraid so. I can't compete with you physically, and
you're no match for my brains.

IBM: You're that smart?

Microsoft: Let me put it this way: Have you ever heard of CompuServe,
AOL, Prodigy?

IBM: Yes.

Microsoft: Morons!

IBM: Really! In that case, I challenge you to a battle of wits.

Microsoft: For Linux? To the death? I accept!

IBM: Good, then pour the wine. [Microsoft pours the wine] Inhale this
but do not touch.

Microsoft: [taking a vial from IBM] I smell nothing.

IBM: What you do not smell is a Patent. It is registered, issued,
difficult to find and is among the more deadly poisons known to

Microsoft: [shrugs with laughter] Hmmm.

IBM: [turning his back, and adding the Patent to one of the goblets]

IBM: Alright, where is the Patent? The battle of wits has begun. It ends
when you decide and we both drink - and find out who is right, and who
is dead.

Microsoft: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine it from what I
know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the patent into his
own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the patent into
his own goblet because he would know that only a great fool would reach
for what he was given. I am not a great fool so I can clearly not choose
the wine in front of you...But you must have known I was not a great
fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine
in front of me.

IBM: You've made your decision then?

Microsoft: [happily] Not remotely! Because Patents come from the United
States. As everyone knows, United States is entirely peopled with DRM
violating pirates using DeCSS. And hackers are used to having people not
trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So, I can clearly not choose
the wine in front of you.

IBM: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

Microsoft: Wait 'till I get going!! ...where was I?

IBM: United States.

Microsoft: Yes! United States! And you must have suspected I would have
known the patent's origin,so I can clearly not choose the wine in front
of me.

IBM: You're just stalling now.

Microsoft: You'd like to think that, wouldn't you! You've beaten my FUD,
which means you're exceptionally strong...so you could have put the
patent in your own goblet trusting on your strength to save you, so I
can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you've also bested
my SCO lawsuits, which means you must have studied...and in studying you
must have learned that man is mortal so you would have put the patent as
far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in
front of me!

IBM: You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't

Microsoft: It has worked! You've given everything away! I know where the
patent is!

IBM: Then make your choice.

Microsoft: I will, and I choose...[pointing behind the IBM] What in the
world can that be?

IBM: [turning around, while Microsoft switches goblets] What?! Where?! I
don't see anything.

Microsoft: Oh, well, I...I could have sworn I saw something. No matter.
[Microsoft laughs]

IBM: What's so funny?

Microsoft: I...I'll tell you in a minute. First, lets drink, me from my
glass and you from yours.

[They both drink]

IBM: You guessed wrong.

Microsoft: You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I
switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha, you fool!! You fell
victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is never get
involved in a land war in Iraq; and only slightly less well known is
this: Never go in against a Monopolist, when death is on the line!

[Microsoft continues to laugh hysterically. Suddenly, he stops and falls
right over. IBM removes the blindfold from Linux]

Linux: Who are you?

IBM: I'm no one to be trifled with. That is all you'll ever need know.

Linux: And to think, all that time it was your cup that was patented.

IBM: They were both patented. I spent the last few years building up an
immunity to patent lawsuits.

More information about the conspire mailing list