IBM accused of mainframe monopoly

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IBM accused of mainframe monopoly

Condemned for threatening anti-trust lawsuit.

IBM has been accused of breaking the spirit of open-source software by threatening to sue a mainframe emulator company for patent infringement.

Florian Mueller, a campaigner for open-source software and patent reform, said in a blog post that IBM is working against the community by threatening to sue TurboHercules, which develops an open-source emulator that runs freeware on IBM's System Z mainframes.

IBM has been battling with TurboHercules since late last year, but the situation came to a head a couple of weeks ago.

Roger Bowler, co-founder of TurboHercules, stated in a blog post that his company is not at odds with IBM after receiving a list of alleged patent infringements.

"As the founder of the Hercules project, I can state with confidence that our emulator is in no way an enemy of IBM's," he said.

TurboHercules has now raised an anti-trust lawsuit in France, claiming that IBM is not allowing its operating system to run on anything other than an IBM computer.

Mueller said in a statement released today: "IBM, as my blog explains, even holds two patents against TurboHercules that IBM promised five years ago never to assert against open source."

He went on to call for "regulatory intervention against IBM", and said that IBM is using "patent warfare" to protect the revenue stream generated from what Mueller alleges is a mainframe monopoly.

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