Intellectual "Property" in the Digital Age
Frank Field
Links Home : IP Controversies : Open vs. Commercial Source : CIFS & Samba

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The Common Internet File Protocol (CIFS) is the current name for the original Windows file networking protocol, built upon the Server Message Block (SMB), from whence the name of the open-source implementation, Samba. With the ongoing war on GPLed source and other IP protected by "viral" licenses, Microsoft is looking to lock up the CIFS through its restrictive licensing requirements.


-REC Microsoft's file-share rule makes waves
[33 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 10th May 2002]

CNet News; Stephen Shankland; May 9, 2002. (Picked up by ZDNet News here; this link includes reader comments) "Microsoft has opened a new chapter in its long-running dispute with open-source software developers--and it could have antitrust implications." A well-written article with good coverage of the background, including links to many related topical areas.
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-Apple's Tevanian on Windows CIFS, Networked Quartz
[40 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 15th May 2002]

The Register; Andrew Orlowski; May 15, 2002. A look at the internal Apple view of the Microsoft CIFS licensing discussion.
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-Common Internet File System (CIFS) Technical Reference, Revision 1.0
[26 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 9th May 2002]

SNIA WWW page; SNIA CIFS Technical Work Group; March 1, 2002. "The Common Internet File System (CIFS) is a file sharing protocol. Client systems use this protocol to request file access services from server systems over a network. It is based on the Server Message Block protocol widely in use by personal computers and workstations running a wide variety of operating systems. This document is a collaborative effort to produce more comprehensive documentation of the network protocol used by existing CIFS (Common Internet File System) implementations. Based on the widely used SMB (Server Message Block) network protocol, CIFS has become a key file sharing protocol due to its widespread distribution and its inclusion of enhancements that improve its suitability for internet authoring and file sharing. It is an integral part of workstation and server operating systems as well as embedded and appliance systems. In addition there has been a recent expansion of NAS (Network Attached Storage) and SAN-like (Storage Area Network) network storage server products based on CIFS. Although primarily a file sharing and authoring protocol, CIFS assumes even more importance due to the indirect use of CIFS as a transport protocol for various higher level NT and Windows9x communication protocols, as well as for network printing, resource location services, remote management/administration, network authentication (secure establishment services) and RPC (Remote Procedure Calls)."
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-Microsoft Releases CIFS Docs -- Free Ball & Chain
[44 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 9th May 2002]; March 28, 2002.
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-Microsoft steps on Samba's toes
[28 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 9th May 2002]

ZDNet News; Stephen Shankland; May 9, 2002. A good summary of the issue
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-Microsoft Tech Specs Prohibit GPL Implementations
[28 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 9th May 2002]; April 5, 2002.
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-MS getting rid of SAMBA?
[31 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 9th May 2002]; August 7, 2001. People have noticed the possibility that Microsoft might include patented technology into the CIFS spec for quite a while now. More importantly, the discussion includes many Microsoft proponents who insisted that Microsoft would never do anything so underhanded as this. Of course, recent events have shown that Microsoft is trying to do exactly this.
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-Samba Home Page
[27 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 9th May 2002]

Samba Organization Home Page - actually, this is only the gateway to the actual home page - this one is essentially a list of mirrors throughout the world.
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-Samba Team Responds to Microsoft CIFS Spec License
[28 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 9th May 2002]; April 30, 2002.
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-SNIA to Release SMB/CIFS Docs
[31 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 9th May 2002]; April 3, 2002.
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-Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA)
[441 hits, 4 votes, Average Rating 4.00] [Added: 9th May 2002]

A website that is criminally difficult to navigate without Java, and is really no better with it. If you want to find things, use the Search function - searching on "CIFS" is productive, for example
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