I'm not sure whether or not legalizing marijuana is the solution to the problem here... Would it simply make you no longer care? Or would you get even more paranoid about the nastiness that is inevitable? I suppose moving to a different distribution solves that problem without the need to smoke a pound of pot.
It's not so much that some distros feel the need to negotiate a "separate peace" and play Microsoft's game. The bigger problem is that it plays into Microsoft's long-term legal strategy. What Microsoft wants to do is establish that there is a de facto broad industry
agreement that GNU/Linux infringes on Microsoft's IP without providing a court the chance to look too deeply into the allegation.
By getting major distros to individually
cave to Redmond's arm twisting, Microsoft can make the case that a significant portion of the Linux world
acknowledged Linux is
infringing - else why
did these sophisticated and knowledgeable developers feel it necessary
to obtain software licenses from Microsoft in the first place?
Once a few more major distros have caved in - say maybe 10 or so of the top dozen - Microsoft could then make the case (which would hold some water in a legal setting) that if Suse, RedHat, Fedora, Centos, and the Ubuntu family have all agreed to license from Microsoft there must be something to Microsoft's allegations
that Linux is infringing. Especially since these distros employ some of the top coding talent - and who is better qualified to judge Microsoft's claim of infringement than these very same coders?
It's almost circular logic. But it plays well in court. Especially with a technically clueless judiciary and a moron jury.
I would like to see Microsoft attempt to prove its case in court. But Microsoft doesn't want to have to prove anything. (Likely because they can't.) Microsoft would much rather do a 'divide & conquer' in advance, and then have the cooperating distros turn Microsoft's assertions into a fiat accompli.
Pretty cute huh?