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Microsoft

Samba Team Responds to Microsoft CIFS Spec License 298

Jeremy Allison - Samba Team writes: "The Samba Team has released a statement regarding the Microsoft CIFS specification license and its effect on Samba. Regards! Jeremy Allison" Reading this and the Microsoft CIFS Technical License raises a number of issues worth considering. The statement maintains that the specification details an old implementation of the SMB/CIFS protocol, one Microsoft itself has abandoned. One wonders if the only reason they release such docs are as props for a court case or something.
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Samba Team Responds to Microsoft CIFS Spec License

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  • Can't some fool like me (I hope I'm not volunteering) read the document, and then write his own version of the documentation with whatever license he wants?

    Certainly I'm allowed to write whatever works I want, especially ones devoted to some obtuse piece of knowledge like this.
    • Re:Why... (Score:5, Informative)

      by TightByte ( 5833 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:06AM (#3434016)
      Regardless of whether what you suggest would or would not be legal, it isn't necessary. As the article points out, the document is obsolete and the methods it describes are not even in use by Microsoft anymore. Besides, they are inappropriate for a Posix/Unix implementation, so alternative methods have been in use for some time anyway.
    • Re:Why... (Score:3, Informative)

      by plierhead ( 570797 )
      What you suggest is not legal.

      By using the original document as input for your document, you are creating a derivative work of it, and you must therefore obey the license you "obtained" the document under.

      You would therefore have no right to issue such a derivative work under the GPL, and you, and anyone who built on your work (and so on down) would have their asses sued off by MS until they stopped.

      Of course you might say "but how would they know I copied/adapted/altered their work" - but thats a different question. If you based your work on theirs you have to obey their rules.

      • A derivative work is when I write a sequel to your fiction novel. This is the equivalent of me producing my own phone book, and using Bell's phone book for the info.

        That info isn't copyrightable, in and of itself. This has been decided in court (the phone book example is real).
        • Yes, but you don't sign a license when you pick up the latest phone book from your porch every year. There's no EULA, either.

          The phone book is protected by copyright law and nothing else. MS is making you sign a license. A contract. An agreement. Maybe that last phrase is the easiest to understand - when you sign an agreement you are agreeing to the terms. That's the whole point of having an agreement/contract/license in the first place.
          • I never signed a license when I glanced at the M$ docs. Nor a contract. Clicking buttons is how you get to things on the web, and implies no real agreement. Now if they had me sign an NDA on real paper first....
      • Viral Licenses (Score:2, Interesting)

        by k2r ( 255754 )
        > work of it, and you must therefore obey the
        > license you "obtained" the document under.

        So I should consider the license MS uses for this document as a viral license in the Gates/Ballmer sense of terms.

        MS is using viral licenses to threaten open source developers with law suits. Nice.
  • Samba/MS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by neksys ( 87486 ) <grphillips AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:04AM (#3434007)
    As much as I like and support the Samba team, I think they're going to end up fighting a losing battle here - Microsoft won't give up its stranglehold on any facet of its operating system. And while in the old days, the would have just purchased the entire Samba project, now they have little choice but to try these sneaky strongarm tactics. After all these months/years of bashing the GPL and OSS in general, Microsoft can't just absorb and accept Samba - especially not in front of the courts.

    A thought: How many snippets of Samba code do you think has found its way into, say, Windows 2000?
    • Have you read the article.

      1. There is no fight at all. The Samba team has simply evaded the confrontation and carried on. Standard maneuver against a slower but heavily armed opponent in any war game.

      2. Even if there was a grain of truth in what you are blabbering about the samba team can move to where it came. Once upon a time MSFT was claiming most parts of CIFS to be a trade secret. As a result SAMBA was written in countries which do not have this concept in their laws applied to software. Samba can go back there again. World is not just US.

      3. Most iportantly, Microsoft has tried this before with most of domain related stuff. They claimed copyright on documentation and issued cease and desist letters to anyone describing how to set policy and other settings from a non-windows machine. These claims were successfully challenged somewhere (in EU but forgot where). So all it is some young legal genius that has forgotten that the world is not US and most likely never new that MSFT has already been burned on enforcing a similar cause in the past. It will get burned again.

      • The real fun starts when Samba/Linux etc becomes the de-facto standard. When Microsoft does something that breaks ineroperability then it is Microsoft that is broken. When people start considering such as running samba on win32, that day is looming closer.
  • by DaedalusLogic ( 449896 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:07AM (#3434019)
    To think about what kind of a paradox would be arise when complex licenses overlap. I think a valid point was brought up in why not make alternate documentation that wouldn't refer to the original license... I would think it would put all the liability on the head of someone who wrote the new docs... Personally I wish they could sort it down to plane English and short sentences. Kinda like the ten commandments for users. But someone has to feed all the starving lawyers I guess... lol. Sadly it does come down to how much political pressure and money you can throw at enforcing a license that makes it stand up...
  • by Selanit ( 192811 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:09AM (#3434031)
    Is Samba available for Win32 platforms?

    I know this sounds like a strange question, but consider: Microsoft's SMB-based file sharing system is buggy and insecure. Could Samba be used as a drop-in replacement for regular Windows file sharing?

    E.G.: you don't like Windows file sharing. So, you turn it off and install Samba instead. It works the same -- you wind up with shared folders that appear on the network -- but the sharing is being handled by Samba instead of the vanilla Win32 file sharing.

    Is that possible? Maybe I'm suffering from hallucinations induced by too much Mountain Dew . . .
    • Or... (Score:3, Informative)

      by ashpool7 ( 18172 )
      Your thoughts could be answered with a simple google search.

      http://main.mswinxp.net/~lpackham/smbclient/

      Of course, it requires Cygwin. But, a drop in replacement for something that is proprietary to begin with and comes bundled with all windows version sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn't it. ;)
      • Re:Or... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Selanit ( 192811 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:57AM (#3434174)

        Blockquoth the responder:

        . . . a drop in replacement for something that is proprietary to begin with and comes bundled with all windows version sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn't it. ;)

        Heh.

        Tell that to the Mozilla team, or anybody who's worked on a win32 web browser in the last few years. Internet Explorer is proprietary, comes bundled with all windows versions . . . and it's got a big, red bulls-eye in the middle that all the other browsers are aiming for.

        Thanks for the info on the Cygwin Samba client. I actually did do a couple of Google searches before posting, but evidently I didn't pick the magic words.

        • Just to nitpick-- Mozilla et.al are implementing a client for an industry standard protocol HTTP ( so is IE, i guess), whereas Samba is aiming to replace the Microsoft standard SMB/CIFS protocol.. [yeah, i know CIFS is now an industry standard and all that ]
          • Actually, IE does not implement HTTP.

            As I wrote ealier [slashdot.org], IE does not implement RFC2616. Details in the link.
            • Hey, most FTP clients don't implement third-party transfers, so they're really not FTP clients. My car is missing a starter, so it's really not a car. There's plenty of legitimate digs you can get off at Microsoft, but this one is just pathetic.

              Technically speaking, IE is just a container, and all the work is done by a few DLL's. shdocvw.dll, mshtml.dll, and urlmon.dll, if I recall correctly. So I guess by that logic, IE doesn't really even exist
      • by mpe ( 36238 )
        Of course, it requires Cygwin. But, a drop in replacement for something that is proprietary to begin with and comes bundled with all windows version sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn't it. ;)

        Except that there are a few things which samba will do which the inbuilt WIndows stuff cannot manage. e.g. restricting the avaliability of a share to specific workstations.
      • Your thoughts could be answered with a simple google search.

        http://main.mswinxp.net/~lpackham/smbclient/


        No, that is a samba client. The poster asked for samba. Why on earth would someone want a samba client only when they have net use and can then use it as a filesystem?

        Of course, it requires Cygwin.

        Which is enough to kill it for me. Compromise one cygwin app and you've compromised them all, and that doesn't even cover whether cygwin's own libs are secure. Thank the stateful-DLL-based design for that instead of it using real NT API objects like it should, because cygwin also has to run on win9x. Redhat doesn't even recommend running cygwin for anything secure, and why should they -- they have a vested interest in making sure cygwin never competes with redhat.

        But, a drop in replacement for something that is proprietary to begin with and comes bundled with all windows version sounds kind of ridiculous, doesn't it. ;)

        Isn't the entire purpose of drop-in replacements to commoditize something proprietary? Plus, samba has scriptability and customizability that you'll never get with what comes with NT. I personally would love being able to send an alert to a particular account when x number of RPC requests to a flakey service start taking over y seconds to complete, so I can kick it before it falls over. Right now that would take a sniffer, since I don't see anything even resembling that in perfmon. With samba, I could just edit the source.
      • Apologies, I read down further and it is the samba suite as well. It's still quite useful, again for some of the reasons I mentioned, and another really simple one: your workstation can become a domain controller. Think small networks in a poor school or nonprofit where you don't have a spare box to throw on the network, at least not yet, but you still want to configure the clients for a domain. Samba to the rescue.
  • Hmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Khaed ( 544779 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:10AM (#3434032)
    Uh, so it's a non-issue?

    That's kind of what I thought when I first heard about this.

    "Microsoft...documented basically what Samba already knows...and doesn't want people to...use the documentation for GNU purposes...Ok...what about what they already have? Oh, not affected? Ok."

    Looks to me like Microsoft just got these reactions: Loving fanboy support(all three of them), people who could care less(most people), people who went into an idiotic rage(a lot, but not a majority), and people who scratched there heads and asked, "So?"(more than the first, less than the other catagories.)

    I mean, basically all they did was brass off some of the geek community and make themselves look, well, dumb. No one really cares about their documentation...do they?
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sasha328 ( 203458 )
      In this case, there was nothing new, so says the SAMABA people. But what would happens when (notice I didn't say if) MS changes the specs significantly to break the surrent implementation of SAMBA, but before doing this, they release the specs with similar restrictions to what they've just done) That is, no GPLed products? Where would the SAMBA teams stand when they upgrade their implementation?
      * MS to Judge (in case of MS vs SAMBA): Sorry your honour, but they couldn't possibly have reverse engineered the new implementation; they must've used the published specs. This, your honour, violated the (some acronym) law.
      Seems far fetched? I hope so.
      • But what would happens when (notice I didn't say if) MS changes the specs significantly to break the surrent implementation of SAMBA, but before doing this, they release the specs with similar restrictions to what they've just done) That is, no GPLed products? Where would the SAMBA teams stand when they upgrade their implementation?

        Provided they didn't look at the Microsoft documents, but continued to reverse engineer and build a clean-room reimplementation (as they have up to now), they' d be fine.

    • I mean, basically all they did was brass off some of the geek community and make themselves look, well, dumb. No one really cares about their documentation...do they?
      I think Microsoft shot themselves in the foot. Again.

      Besides making themselves look dumb to the geek community (and, at least to some degree, to the entire tech community as well), Microsoft has obviously acted in a predatory and anticompetitive manner toward one of the more successful implementations of a competitive middleware product -- without solid legal grounds (the GPL was specifically excluded even though it did not meet MS's own definition of an "IPR-impairing" license) or solid patent support (as Jeremy Allison points out, the patents in question don't even apply to Samba's network interface)! If this isn't shooting Microsoft's antitrust case in the foot, I don't know what would.

  • Seriously though, if this isn't a show of how much of a monopoly they are, I don't know what is. Next thing you know, they'll force MS-TCP/IP out, and have a similar agreement saying that anything not under their license is not permitted.

    How would Microsoft react if suddenly the open-source community decided that anything under the GNU could not inter-operate with microsoft products? I think MS would flip out kill whole town.
    • How would Microsoft react if suddenly the open-source community decided that anything under the GNU could not inter-operate with microsoft products? I think MS would flip out kill whole town.
      Microsoft would love this development; it would prevent them from having to do the dirty work themselves. Windows doesn't depend on interoperability with GNU stuff quite as much as GNU depends on interoperability with Windows.
    • Seriously though, if this isn't a show of how much of a monopoly they are, I don't know what is. Next thing you know, they'll force MS-TCP/IP out.

      Did I miss something? I thought Windows XP home version did drop TCP/IP from the LAN choices. Did they add it back in? I thought that was one of the things they did to keep it from being used in a business environment. The home version was made incompatible with most company LAN's forcing the use of the PRO version instead.
      I don't run XP so I could be mistaken here.
      • I thought Windows XP home version did drop TCP/IP from the LAN choices

        You're kinda right, but your terminology is getting murky. Either you don't use Windows, so you simply don't know the lingo, or you are a Windows User, which means you are clueless ;-)

        WinXP Hemos Edition has TCP/IP. (Maybe that's just becuase IE is part of the OS, and TCP/IP be the language of the Internet...) What it doesn't have is the ability to take part in a Windows Domain. (you know, the thing with the PDC and the BDC or maybe just some DCs. That thing that I do at work when I'm not on slashdot.)

        Yep, with XP Home Ed. you're in perma-Workgroup mode, which has the effect of making Windows XP Home Edition utterly useless in any decent sized (as in more than ten WinBoxen) office.

        It also makes it pretty hard to save about $300 by buying a Dell Refurbished for the office, because 95% of them have either Windows ME (barf) or Windows XP Home Ed (not compatible). But I have to admit, I kinda enjoy the challenge of ferreting out the occasional Dell refurb system with XP Pro or 2K.

        Steven says: Dude, you're getting a Dell!
    • I wonder (per comments about it being obsolete) to what degree this IS a test case, to see if they can get away with it in a case where legally it doesn't matter (being outdated and out of use anyway). If this flies without the DoJ noticing (since this sort of thing would be pretty clear evidence of using their monopoly to prevent others from competing), then maybe "you cannot use any software with Windows that doesn't use a M$-approved license" WILL be the ultimate step.

      And since users would ignore that, it would be enforced by checking at runtime and forbidding non-approved programs from executing. Personally I think XP's so-called compatibility mode (which I have yet to see improve its compatibility with anything) was another testing of these waters, rather than a concession to people who still need older software.

  • by Skirwan ( 244615 ) <(moc.cam) (ta) (niwreks)> on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:16AM (#3434049) Homepage
    In related news, Microsoft has begun enforcement of its longstanding patents on ones and zeroes [theonion.com]. In an April 1st message sent by Microsoft's patents enforcement representatives at Dewey, Cheetham and Howe to most major tech-industry corporations, Microsoft asserted its right to collect licensing fees for all software and hardware based on the binary number system. At this time none of the alleged infringers have publically commented, though a high-ranking Dell executive who wished to retain anonymity volunteered the possibility that Dell may migrate to a system based on capital 'I's and lowercase 'o's.

    Microsoft founder Bill Gates was unavailable for comment at press time, but his publicist categorized Mr. Gates as 'intensely excited' over the recent developments, and 'well prepared' to extend this patent into other mediums. Although Mr. Gate's press office declined to give specifics, it is widely theorized that Microsoft will attempt to extract royalties from all television stations with a one or zero in their channel number, or potentially all commercially-available products with a one or a zero in the price.

    --
    Damn the Emperor!
  • Testing Waters (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bouncings ( 55215 ) <ken@kenkinPOLLOCKder.com minus painter> on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:21AM (#3434068) Homepage
    Although this particularly license has no real implications, and I think we can be sure Microsoft is aware of this, perhaps their is a more sinister goal here: testing the waters of anti-GPL and/or anti-free-software licenses.

    What would happen, for example, if Windows were "licensed" to exclude its use in conjunction with certain free software -- such as -- oh say -- Wine. Wine works better with Windows binary libraries accessible, and Microsoft might be thinking about some kind of anti-free-software clause in the Windows license.

    I suspect this obsolete Samba license is just a beta test of their newest scam.
    • Re:Testing Waters (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Da Schmiz ( 300867 ) <{ten.nedyrp} {ta} {todhsals}> on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:46AM (#3434142) Homepage
      What would happen, for example, if Windows were "licensed" to exclude its use in conjunction with certain free software -- such as -- oh say -- Wine.
      Actually, the latest Wine builds are working better and better even without Microsoft libraries. A far more likely scenario -- and one with a more powerful impact -- would be if MS Office was licensed so that it could only be used with Windows... or if it could only authenticate using Passport, or something along those lines. In fact, I believe that the reason CodeWeavers Office does not yet support MS Office XP has to do with this kind of licensing issue.

      Or worse, what if the Windows EULA was changed to explictly forbid running it in an emulated virtual machine? That would kill VirtualPC, VMware, and plex86 all with one fell swoop -- and drive a lot of users back to the Windows platform.

      You've got a good point. Hopefully, if enough people become aware of the dangerous possibilities of this kind of faux-open documentation licensing, the antitrust people will be able to do something about it.

      • by glwtta ( 532858 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @08:42AM (#3434872) Homepage
        the antitrust people will be able to do something about it

        Yeah, they've got an excellent record so far.

      • >>What would happen, for example, if Windows were "licensed" to exclude its use in conjunction with certain free software -- such as --
        >>oh say -- Wine.

        >Or worse, what if the Windows EULA was changed to explictly forbid running it in an emulated virtual machine? That would kill VirtualPC, VMware,
        >and plex86 all with one fell swoop -- and drive a lot of users back to the Windows platform.

        Something like this has already happened. From what I read in the comments to a Codeweavers Crossover announcement, the Office XP license specifically requires that it be run on a valid licensed copy of Windows.

        Now IANAL, but this makes me wonder about that wonderful monopoly-maintenance/extension concept called "tying". If Company X's product A works with their product B, but also works with Company Y's product C, I thought it was specifically illegal to create a "tie" between A and B that excludes C. Most of the time you have to "prove" things in court, but in this case, it seems to me that the only proof necessary is that Codeweavers Crossover really is capable of running Office XP, to specified levels. Beyond that, Microsoft has done the rest of the job in a "legal" document, the EULA.

        But as I said, IANAL. Perhaps I'm mistaking monopoly mainetnance/extension here for "Innovation".
      • Actually, the latest Wine builds are working better and better even without Microsoft libraries. A far more likely scenario -- and one with a more powerful impact -- would be if MS Office was licensed so that it could only be used with Windows... or if it could only authenticate using Passport, or something along those lines. In fact, I believe that the reason CodeWeavers Office does not yet support MS Office XP has to do with this kind of licensing issue.

        Well we have already been there, back some years in the DOS ages. Some microsoft tools tested exactly to be runned only on "MS-DOS", and refused to run with in example DR-DOS. No need to say as this was discovered it there were huge riots about this. But as it is, time covers everything well, who remembers these "crimes" today?

        They argued they just wanted to be sure there are no side effects... tsss.. tsss..

        Well at that times everybody understood well that you wantded to run a non ms-OS, like DR-DOS, and didn't start eyeing you unbelieving as today if you tell a friend you aren't running any MS-OS on your home system.
  • by totallygeek ( 263191 ) <sellis@totallygeek.com> on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:29AM (#3434098) Homepage
    So, now we will have this list in the network neighborhood properties?


    Microsoft Client for Microsoft Networks
    Microsoft Client for Netware Networks
    Samba Team Client for What Microsoft Should Use

  • by jukal ( 523582 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:49AM (#3434153) Journal
    I hope this is a horror scenario, but happenings similar this are already documented history:
    when and if Samba raises to compete as the file/printer sharing protocol to be installed on Microsoft products instead of Microsoft products, they will just start using client certificates or something to criple Samba access to other MSFT shares. I quess cross-compatibility is not bad enough for MSFT to take action, but dare you replace their perfect piece of software with some GPL crap and you are in trouble.

    I do believe this is a scenario which could happen, maybe the court case changes something and the future is different, but until then they have strong artillery left to "defend the shares" ;))
  • by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:52AM (#3434163)
    I found the other news link [itweek.co.uk] for today on the Samba home page even more interesting. Could this be the motivation behind the strange licensing hijinx?
  • by fireboy1919 ( 257783 ) <rustypNO@SPAMfreeshell.org> on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @01:53AM (#3434169) Homepage Journal
    ...SMB will have to go away.

    Micro$haft is the main company working on Windows networking protocols, and as has always been the case they don't seem to encourage standards or interoperability.

    I'm thinking a better solution would be to use OpenAFS [openafs.org]. It works on Windows and Linux just fine, and its not going to have interoperability problems because all of the stuff is open source.

    I believe its only a short time, maybe a year or four, before M$ doesn't have anything to do with network interoperability software, unless they change their policy.

    A saying comes to mind:
    "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."


    • This is completely flawed logic. Just because something is open source does not mean that it works perfectly, or doesn't have interoperability problems.

      Ever seen an open source FTP client have interoperability problems with an FTP server? How about an open source web browser having problems with an open source web server? It can and does happen.

      I have no problems with finding and using alternatives to Microsoft software. But PLEASE don't assume that because it is open source that it doesn't and won't ever have interoperability problems with another implementation.
    • by trenton ( 53581 ) <trentonl@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @02:45AM (#3434284) Homepage
      Yeah. Let's just hope Microsoft doesn't destory Alderan before a "structural remedy" is delivered down their thermal exhaust port.
    • Open Source software does not automatically "play better with friends". SMB is an extreme case where higher-level features of the protocol get constantly added/modified/removed by a proprietary vendor (MS). It's hard to manage (and the Samba team has done an excellent job with this).

      SMB will not go away, much in the same way NFS wont. Its the cornerstone of Microsoft based file/print/resource sharing.

      Market share trumph's evolution.
      Market share trumph's innovation.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Well said. I was involved in a project that implemented the CIFS/SMB protocol in an Apple product. The specification is a moving target. For instance, Microsoft's version of the spec stated that a particular field of an SMB call must contain zero and nothing else. The call would fail consistently in our product. A smart engineer, some test tools and a sniffer soon revealed the problem: Microsoft used that field to carry the length of the data used in the call.

        If Microsoft were the best engineers and competed on that basis, my view of them would be different. But they see no problem in crippling or co-opting other protocols and standards if it serves their purposes (i.e. "Cha-ching, Jocko!"). Navigator, QuickTime, Java, and CIFS/SMB are hallmarks of how Microsoft leverages its monopoly power and why the court's remedy must give the industry some recourse.
      • That is, perhaps, untrue.

        MS has been seriously experimenting with other protocols to replace and obsolete CIFS/SMB.

        One that is making strong progress, that is open, and that works pretty well is WebDAV.

        In the latest MS OS's (> WinXP) WebDAV paths can be mapped to drive letters thanks to kernel mode extensions. All that is needed at this point is a melding of ACLs to WebDAV in a more smooth manner and WebDAV can effectively replace SMB.

        IF, and this is a still IF that happens, interoperable file sharing could be a real serious possibility for virtually all platforms. If that would happnen look to *Apache* - yes Apache - to become the defacto file-server.
    • Micro$haft is the main company working on Windows networking protocols, and as has always been the case they don't seem to encourage standards or interoperability.

      _Please_ just write "microsoft" that gives any comment a better mature feeling, nobody gains anything by writing micro$oft, or mirco$hoft or anything like that. It just makes the first impression of "stupid geek", who knows nothing about economy.
    • Perhaps I should be more clear as to why I say that open source leads to interoperability in this case.

      1) Everyone who wants to develop a client for this system works with the developers themselves; its all part of one project. That means they test the interoperability between each system. This is possible because no one cares about profit. If people did care about profit, then there would be different entities working on each system (unless one had enough for all systems, which is seldom the case).

      2) Age leads to maturity for Open Source products (because of the many eyes system), and this is an old enough product to be mature, and therefore not particularly buggy.

      3) The goal of any open source developer is that their product becomes popular. Breaking standards can take away that popularity as long as the product does not have market dominance. The developers therefore have a vested interest in ensuring that the product is interoperable.

      Why did I give this example rather than NFS? Because there is a Windows DLL which will let you mount AFS shares automatically on any version of Windows. This means that there is no real reason to use the Windows protocol (other than laziness, which I'll admit is a problem).

      Perhaps this clears up the fact that I understand what I'm talking about and that open source sometimes means better interoperability.

      And as far as understanding economics, I find that perhaps that claim is based upon some lack of such understanding. A company is leveraging its dominant market position to become a standards leader to drive out competition and thereby increase demand for their products. This is certainly shafting consumers, making the name "Micro$haft" quite apropoe. Perhaps you didn't think of OSS as a part of the economic system. It is, though its effects aren't quite the same.
  • FUD (Score:2, Informative)

    by tanveer1979 ( 530624 )
    We would like to also point out that these patents cover an obsolete section of the CIFS/SMB protocol that Microsoft themselves have abandoned in their own products long ago. Microsoft abandoned these "raw" protocol operations in CIFS because their basic design is fatally flawed. FUD. Plain FUD. The license as the statement says covers an onlder version. So it will not really affect the development , atleast thats why i inferred, correct me if I am wrong. M$ is most probably using FUD, to scare. they wouldnt dare to doanything which will stand against them in the court case so glaringly. The may be evil but they are not Fools
  • Sooner or later that parites that matter are going to have to recognize the disconnected from reality arrogance of MS. And as the boy who cried wolf, MS has been BS'ing since Bill Yelled and coined the term "software piracy" in the mid 1970's.

    I just hope the court system involved in the anti-trust case does before a decission is made by the judge.
  • Mischief-making (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Observer ( 91365 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @03:06AM (#3434319)
    So, it seems that MS spent a little small change cooking up some documentation that raised the possibility that Samba might infringe on some of MS's intellectual property. Samba Team was then obliged to spend (proportionally considerably more) time and resources analysing this suggestion so they can issue a plausible refutation. In the meantime, all the 'careful' line management types whose reason for existence is never to be seen to be responsible for a mistake will have taken the point that deploying Samba is 'risky', and will now have to be persuaded all over again that this particular risk is an acceptable one, and that in this case there was smoke without fire.

    Neat work, MS.

    Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. You can't choose just two out of the three, they come co-mingled.

  • Sure they can piss and moan about stuff like this and maybe they'll take it all the way through court. Win or lose it doesn't matter really...

    Think of government and educational facilities that have just begun to adopt linux and are loving it. Many of them RELY on samba.

    I mean, geez, my company just put in a network to replace Novell with SuSE 7.3 throughout an entire school district. 90% of the usage is file and printer sharing.

    So if Microsoft is going to screw them, I'd be very surprised to see them even buy any more MS clients. Microsoft will basically force them to switch to linux on the desktop which is something they're already experimenting with.

    You'd be surprised how much easier it is to switch to linux on the desktop when your entire organization switches at the same time. (and budget cuts don't leave any room to purchase new MS licensed software.)
  • by Fuzzums ( 250400 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2002 @05:59AM (#3434618) Homepage
    Turn it around. Implement SAMBA in windows.
    My FTP-client is integrated in windows, so why don't they make a SAMBA-plugin for windows.
    Don't bow for windows and accept everything they invent.
    This way you can get maximum compatibility between M$ and Linux without nasty M$ licences.
    • Turn it around. Implement SAMBA in windows.
      My FTP-client is integrated in windows, so why don't they make a SAMBA-plugin for windows.
      Don't bow for windows and accept everything they invent.

      Even better: implement WINE on Windows.

      Sounds a little silly, but I'm completely serious -- develop replacements for each DLL/EXE, one at a time, and use those instead of the Windows DLLs/EXEs.

      Might be a little work getting it to behave properly with (I forget the name) the piece of Windows that replaces corrupted files (it would see these as corrupted, since their checksums/whatever won't match).

      And of course there'll be problems with windowsupdate.com (heh).

      Extra credit: write a replacement for windowsupdate.com, so any user with any version of Windows could go there and (after a lengthy download) have Open Source Windows.

      Yeah, I know, I'm dreaming, it's more work than anyone would pay for. But we've already got WINE and SAMBA; my idea is more packaging than actual development.

  • I believe that banning Microsoft selling software with anti-GPL licences would make part of a good settlement in the anti-trust case.

    It probably wouldn't help victims of Microsofts past conduct but it would help potential victims of its future conduct.

  • For people interested in a more accurate and complete description of the CIFS/SMB protocol the Samba Team recommends the recently released SNIA CIFS document, which has been developed through a process of industry collaboration.

    Years ago, I wrote a number of articles and then a book of Microsoft's undocumented file formats. In one case, there was a graphic file format called the .SHG (Segmented Hyper Graphic, basically a big name for a graphic with link areas).

    Anyway, Microsoft had publicly "released" the file format, but it was almost entirely wrong. The funny thing is that not long after my article on the real format appeared, Microsoft actually approached me to document the format for them. Ha ha ha. I guess whoever developped it left them high and dry.

    I never did it because we disagreed on two key points. One: I wanted some payment upfront because they were notorious for taking their time paying people, and two: I wanted an agreement in writing that it would be released publicly. They didn't agree to either. Oh well, I released the documentation publicly.
  • See the recent Ask slashdot forum Microsoft Interoperability and the GPL? [slashdot.org]

    Microsoft's position on GPL and LGPL licensing is even less sustainable after Microsoft's announcement that the next release of its Services For Unix (SFU) tool kit will be including Interix, which includes a copy of the GPL licensed GNU GCC compiler toolset.

    Microsoft's new trend of denying access to the GPL and LGPL license has the the potential for more damage to Microsoft customers than just the ability to use SAMBA servers.

    A new project The Open CD project [theopencd.org], has the mission statement

    To compile and distribute A CD-ROM containing a selection of high quality open source software for use on proprietary operating systems.

    How viable will Microsoft's OSs be as host platform for theOpenCD,if Microsoft continue to restrict access to any GPL or LGPL product that provides any competition to Microsoft's own products?

    Microsoft is effectively denying its users of Microsoft OSs access to competing products, which as I pointed out in the ask.slashdot forum, puts Microsoft in serous problems with the Antitrust laws. [slashdot.org]


  • f*ck you Microsoft

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.

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