> IBM is threatening to pursue legal action against TurboHercules, a company
> that sells services relating to the open source Hercules project, an
> emulator that allows conventional computers with mainstream operating
> systems to run software that is designed for IBM System Z mainframe
> hardware.

> In a letter that IBM mainframe CTO Mark Anzani recently sent to
> TurboHercules, Big Blue says that it has "substantial concerns" that the
> Hercules project infringes on its patents. The letter is a brusque
> half-page, but was sent with nine additional pages that list a
> "non-exhaustive" selection of patents that IBM believes are infringed by the
> open source emulator.

> This move earned the scorn of well-known free software advocate and patent
> reform activist, Florian Mueller. In a blog entry that was posted Tuesday,
> Mueller fiercely criticized IBM, accusing the company of abusing its patent
> portfolio and harming open source software in order to retain monopolistic
> control over its expensive mainframe offerings.

> "After years of pretending to be a friend of Free and Open Source Software
> (FOSS), IBM now shows its true colors. IBM breaks the number one taboo of
> the FOSS community and shamelessly uses its patents against a well-respected
> FOSS project," wrote Mueller. "This proves that IBM's love for free and open
> source software ends where its business interests begin."

> He contends that IBM's support for open source software is insincere. As
> evidence of the company's hypocrisy, Mueller points out that two of the
> patents that IBM listed in its letter to Hercules are included in the list
> of 500 patents that IBM promised to not assert against open source software
> in 2005. Mueller is convinced that the patent promise was a manipulative
> attempt to placate government regulators.


Vítor Baptista
Comissão Organizadora
IV Encontro de Software Livre da Paraíba
6, 7, 8 e 9 de Maio de 2010
Estação Ciência, Cultura e Artes Cabo Branco
João Pessoa, PB.

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