[LINK] More on MS and XML Patents
Richard.Chirgwin at informa.com.au
Wed Jan 28 10:56:38 EST 2004
This article, from Newsforge:
...discusses the extremely restrictive way in which Microsoft is controlling
the application of XML in a Danish government repository. It refers in
particular to this licence:
Roughly, Microsoft is seeking to lock up its private XML schemas. This line
(my emphasis) is a gem:
>Microsoft may have patents and/or patent applications
>that are necessary for you to license in order to make,
>sell, or distribute software programs that read or
>write files that comply with the Microsoft specifications
>for the Office Schemas.
Now, apart from the novel idea that you have to treat a Microsoft patent
application as if it were a "done deal" ... this is just silly.
Let's see. An XML file is tagged text; if you look at it in indexed text,
you get legible data (although the information is buried within the tags).
If you look at it in a hex editor, you get legible data, although it would
take forever to start at a hex editor and end up with the original text of
the WP document.
Anything that can read data from a hard drive can "read ... files that
comply with the Microsoft specifications for the Office Schemas".
It's also applying the sort of licensing which should, a priori, ban the
software from any government project of any kind whatever: it is outrageous
that a company would try and specify that government documents "must only be
created or viewed under the conditions we specify."
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