Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Oct 2010 14:55 UTC
Legal Speaking of patent lawsuits - somebody pointed out to me that both Oracle and Google are members of the Open Invention Network. This struck me as odd - doesn't the OIN license require you to promise not to assert your patents against Linux systems? And, uhm, isn't that kind of what Oracle is doing right now? Well, yes, they might be suing a Linux System - but they're not suing a Linux System as defined by the OIN.
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Nice try...
by kap1 on Thu 7th Oct 2010 15:16 UTC
kap1
Member since:
2006-05-12

Nice try, would have been pretty funny for Oracle to have got caught out here.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Nice try...
by bfr99 on Thu 7th Oct 2010 19:04 UTC in reply to "Nice try..."
bfr99 Member since:
2007-03-15

As Adam Smith pointed out a long time ago, agreements among competitors are seldom created in order to benefit their customers.

Reply Score: 1

FlorianMueller
Member since:
2010-10-07

I believe that the OIN's arbitrary and constantly changing definition of the "Linux System" is a fundamental problem: http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2010/06/oins-linux-system-only-cons...

I suggested four possible ways to address the problem (one of those ways consist of multiple measures, so all in all I made like a dozen suggestions).

The Oracle-Google situation proves that there is a problem: http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2010/08/open-invention-network-oin-...
But this is just one of many symptoms, and the worst thing that could happen is for OIN to turn against open source competitors of its backers, such as against Linux distributions competing with Red Hat/Novell.

Reply Score: 2

JoeBuck Member since:
2006-01-11

The article Florian links to has a significant error, I think. The OIN definition of a Linux system includes a list of packages, and also says that it applies to "any predecessor or successor release". So it would appear that an OIN member can never sue GCC for patent violation, for example, since GCC is defined as a Linux system component (and yes, I can hear RMS gnashing his teeth over that).

Edited 2010-10-07 16:35 UTC

Reply Score: 3

FlorianMueller Member since:
2010-10-07

Where does it say what you claim in terms of predecessor and successor versions covered? Please specify. If you say my article has an error, then you have a duty to substantiate this claim.

Reply Score: 0

FlorianMueller Member since:
2010-10-07

Just to clarify this, one thing is that the definition on the website currently makes a certain statement. But it's another thing that in the actual license agreement, the definition is subject to change at any time:
http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_license_agreement.php
“Linux System” shall, at any time, have the meaning set forth, at that time, on www.openinventionnetwork.com.

So there isn't really any reliability in terms of future versions since they reserve the right to change the definition whenever they want, whichever way they want.

Reply Score: 1

MeeGo = "Linux System"
by Fettarme H-Milch on Thu 7th Oct 2010 16:17 UTC
Fettarme H-Milch
Member since:
2010-02-16

Google designed Android deliberately to be incompatible with anything existing out there -- including common Linux distributions.
For this reason, Android is not covered by OIN. But MeeGo is based on technologies found in common Linux distributions, meaning it's covered by OIN.

Somehow it seems that without actively pursuing this, the participants in current events around Android make MeeGo more and more compelling on handset devices.

Reply Score: 4

RE: MeeGo = "Linux System"
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 7th Oct 2010 16:30 UTC in reply to "MeeGo = "Linux System""
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Nonsense. OIN is focussed on "traditional" Linux - servers, desktops. On phones, a whole can of new patents comes into play due to the use of technologies that simply don't play a role in desktops and servers.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: MeeGo = "Linux System"
by JoeBuck on Thu 7th Oct 2010 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE: MeeGo = "Linux System""
JoeBuck Member since:
2006-01-11

Not exactly: OIN lists a set of software packages, and the patent guarantees apply to those packages, whether they are used in a phone or a server or a desktop. But Java isn't included.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: MeeGo = "Linux System"
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 7th Oct 2010 16:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MeeGo = "Linux System""
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You don't get it. Even using the existing set of packages you can create technologies that wouldn't be covered by OIN's license. For instance, you could use Gtk+ to code a slide-to-unlock mechanism for your Gtk+-based phone, you're violating a patent, and could be sued, and OIN won't do a thing to help you - coded in Gtk+ or not - since the patent suit would not focus on Gtk+, but on the functionality created USING Gtk+.

Reply Score: 1

Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

Who said I wrote about "slide-to-unlock"? Stop making things up. I never wrote about that.
OIN covers a large part of MeeGo components, resulting in being a smaller target for patent trolls.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: MeeGo = "Linux System"
by Drumhellar on Thu 7th Oct 2010 17:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: MeeGo = "Linux System""
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

He didn't say you said anything about slide-to-unlock.
He was giving an example on how to use an OIN-covered package in a manner that isn't covered by the OIN.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: MeeGo = "Linux System"
by Fettarme H-Milch on Thu 7th Oct 2010 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE: MeeGo = "Linux System""
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

Nonsense. OIN is focussed on "traditional" Linux - servers, desktops.


Doesn't matter. MeeGo uses those software packages. OIN affiliates can't sue each other over those.
Eg. Oracle sued Google over Java. If Google used Python, for example, Oracle would be breaching a contract with OIN and could be countersued for that.

On phones, a whole can of new patents comes into play due to the use of technologies that simply don't play a role in desktops and servers.

Doesn't matter. If those phone-specific technologies are implemented by extending the packages currently covered by OIN (eg. establishing a UMTS connection via NetworkManager or whatever is patented these days), OIN members are relatively save.
Yes, OIN does not cover all patents but at least gives its adopters more safety. Additionally Intel and Nokia said they help defend all MeeGo adopters who get sued by someone else and since Nokia is a major mobile player and grants royalty-free patent licenses via (L)GPL and Apache licenses, that gives additional safety for adopters.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: MeeGo = "Linux System"
by oiaohm on Fri 8th Oct 2010 10:23 UTC in reply to "RE: MeeGo = "Linux System""
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

Nonsense. OIN is focussed on "traditional" Linux - servers, desktops. On phones, a whole can of new patents comes into play due to the use of technologies that simply don't play a role in desktops and servers.


Really I am sorry. Tell that to nokia. One of nokia phones at one point run standard off the repo debian.

There is no need for a divide between phones and desktop. MeeGo is not more research along this path. Power management developments from Meego and its past forms are appearing in all distributions.

There are areas that OIN does not cover. But like Java existing rules were already in place that should be followed unless you want doom.

Reply Score: 2

RE: MeeGo = "Linux System"
by tony on Sat 9th Oct 2010 03:28 UTC in reply to "MeeGo = "Linux System""
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

Google designed Android deliberately to be incompatible with anything existing out there -- including common Linux distributions.
For this reason, Android is not covered by OIN. But MeeGo is based on technologies found in common Linux distributions, meaning it's covered by OIN.

Somehow it seems that without actively pursuing this, the participants in current events around Android make MeeGo more and more compelling on handset devices.


That's a Nokia talking point. It's both a false and meaningless claim. Of course it's Linux. It uses the Linux kernel, GNU userland, and it uses Java technology on top of it. Java isn't Linux, but neither is QT.

MeeGo is doing the same approach. Linux is meant to be customized to whatever you'd like, from megarouters to phones to servers to desktops.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: MeeGo = "Linux System"
by anevilyak on Sat 9th Oct 2010 23:56 UTC in reply to "RE: MeeGo = "Linux System""
anevilyak Member since:
2005-09-14

[
That's a Nokia talking point. It's both a false and meaningless claim. Of course it's Linux. It uses the Linux kernel, GNU userland, and it uses Java technology on top of it. Java isn't Linux, but neither is QT.


That's not entirely correct, it does use the Linux kernel, but that's it. It does not use the usual GNU userland, it has its own which pretty much is the bare minimum needed to bootstrap Dalvik and let the APIs interface with the kernel.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: MeeGo = "Linux System"
by tony on Sun 10th Oct 2010 00:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MeeGo = "Linux System""
tony Member since:
2005-07-06

"[
That's a Nokia talking point. It's both a false and meaningless claim. Of course it's Linux. It uses the Linux kernel, GNU userland, and it uses Java technology on top of it. Java isn't Linux, but neither is QT.


That's not entirely correct, it does use the Linux kernel, but that's it. It does not use the usual GNU userland, it has its own which pretty much is the bare minimum needed to bootstrap Dalvik and let the APIs interface with the kernel.
"

So how does that make it not-Linux? How does MeeGo differ in ways that "make it Linux".

Reply Score: 2