Linked by snydeq on Sat 10th Mar 2012 20:29 UTC
Linux The open source community should feel a little safer from software patent attacks, writes InfoWorld's Simon Phipps. "The Open Invention Network, a consortium of Linux contributors formed as a self-defense against software patents, has extended the definition of Linux so that a whopping 700 new software packages are covered, including many developer favorites. Just one hitch: The new definition also includes carve-outs that put all Linux developers on notice that Phillips and Sony reserve the right to sue over virtualization, search, user interfaces, and more."
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philips?
by project_2501 on Sat 10th Mar 2012 22:25 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

So what has Philips ever done for virtualisation?

Bluray functionality? I suspect it'll go the same way as DVD functionality on floss operating systems ...

Reply Score: 4

RE: philips?
by orestes on Sun 11th Mar 2012 00:13 UTC in reply to "philips?"
orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

The thing that comes most strongly to mind with Philips would be the i2c bus. Perhaps it's something related that. Or their truly impressive array of high end clinical solutions, wouldn't shock me one bit if some of those made use of virtualization.

Edited 2012-03-11 00:15 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: philips?
by timl on Sun 11th Mar 2012 11:42 UTC in reply to "RE: philips?"
timl Member since:
2005-12-06

Actually, I think any i2c patents would be expired by now, or about to be. It's technology from the early 80s if I'm not mistaken, so any 25-year long patent would have expired.

Of course the trademark of the i2c name and the logo would still be owned by Philips, but that has nothing to do with patent pools. Not to mention that those have been circumvented for years by calling it smbus or 2-wire bus.

Reply Score: 3

How sincere
by Alfman on Sun 11th Mar 2012 09:12 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

We don't mind participating in a patent cross licensing agreement with other Linux developers... so long as exceptions get carved out for any technologies that we may hold patents for.

Reply Score: 4

RE: How sincere
by moondevil on Sun 11th Mar 2012 14:11 UTC in reply to "How sincere"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

After working for a couple of big corporations I have learned the sad truth how these "entities" deal with open source.

For them open source is just a way to cut development costs, with the added benefit of doing some good PR from time to time. While on the other hand patents and IP copyrights get done to prevent the competition.

Even companies I though were open source friendly, changed my mind, when I discovered how they actually work internally. Mostly is just a small section that is FLOSS friendly, while the rest thinks on the shareholders benefits.

In the end while Microsoft is seen as the dark lord, most big corporations behave exactly the same way, and just because a small unit does a few FLOSS contributions, then get forgiven by the community.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: How sincere
by cyrilleberger on Mon 12th Mar 2012 08:50 UTC in reply to "RE: How sincere"
cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

Mostly is just a small section that is FLOSS friendly, while the rest thinks on the shareholders benefits.


May I remind you that the goal of a company is to make "profit". So yes, everybody in the company should be concerned with the shareholders benefits, that is their jobs. Even the FLOSS friendly people should be mostly concerned with the shareholders benefits. And if there is a way to make profits by being FLOSS friendly, I am sure shareholders and companies will be very open to the idea.

The truth is that making money with FLOSS is very difficult, it is mostly consulting companies that manages to make a profit out of it, or companies that use dual licensing (GPL+Commercial for instance), but then it gets closer to the "free for non-commercial use" model.

So yes, most companies prefer to see FLOSS as a way to save cost on non-strategic components (like the kernel of the os) while keeping a firm grip on what differentiate them from the competitions (just try to imagine how much profit Apple would have made if they had opened source iOS).

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: How sincere
by moondevil on Mon 12th Mar 2012 09:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How sincere"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I agree with you.

My point is that many in the FLOSS community sometimes see companies as good or evil, when actually the companies only care about the shareholders.

While I subscribed for years to Linux Journal, I've always been a UNIX/Windows developer and I am typing this text on a Microsoft's Natural Keyboard.

All companies have good and bad sides, the problem is when we get carried away with FLOSS up to the point some take it almost as a religion, which I used to do before.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: How sincere
by spiderman on Mon 12th Mar 2012 12:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How sincere"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

I love how the gods of finance, aka stock holders, declared FOSS a religion when we should only be concerned about their profits.
I am sarcastic because capitalism is as much a religion as FOSS, only more harmful.
In my job, I couldn't care less about stock profits. I pretend to care for PR and marketing, but I am only concerned in the betterment of the world and FOSS. So do most of my colleagues.
If that is a religion, then it's a better religion than those who only care about profits and pretend to care about the world.

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: How sincere
by agb242 on Tue 13th Mar 2012 00:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: How sincere"
agb242 Member since:
2012-03-13

Funny how capitalism was most likely the reason you are using a computer today, have good transportation, have enough food to eat blah, blah, blah. Making a profit provides businesses the ability to expand, innovate and so forth.

Plus, FOSS is really about making the code available for everybody. You can certainly make a profit off the software. Hell you can repackage whole distro and sell it if you want...plus your most likely not speaking of true capitalism...

Hey come to think of it FOSS is like capitalism; you agree to a contract; we share knowledge and ideas about the code & usibility; build it; package it and if we want to we can sell the software or services for the software without government intervention. Yep sounds a lot like laissez-faire capitalism to me.

Making a profit is not a bad thing.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: How sincere
by spiderman on Wed 14th Mar 2012 07:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: How sincere"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

I actually don't agree with you but I take it you believe in capitalism and debating it would be pointless so let's go beyond that.
Even if you believe that the computer, the internet, the web and the technology was invented by private people seeking profits, the profit was not the end. The end was the computer, the internet and the web.
I'm not saying profits are necessarily bad but that they are not the only thing you should be concerned about. It's a mean to an end. So seeking profit for the sake of profit is useless, and can be harmless at times. I think even the most extreme capitalists can agree on that. There are higher aims than profit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: How sincere
by agb242 on Wed 14th Mar 2012 21:15 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: How sincere"
agb242 Member since:
2012-03-13

You are correct. I feel the best thing about making money is having the ability to share with others. But again very difficult to do those things without people/business making a profit. Plus, business profit margins are very low.

Plus, if you really want to change the world business are really the only ones who can do that. Get involved in the local schools and colleges; teach them the ethical things they can do in business to help the world. Business creates wealth. Government steals wealth. The government can not make wealth.

Edited 2012-03-14 21:19 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: How sincere
by zima on Sat 17th Mar 2012 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: How sincere"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Funny how capitalism was most likely the reason you are using a computer today, have good transportation, have enough food to eat blah, blah, blah. Making a profit provides businesses the ability to expand, innovate and so forth [...] plus your most likely not speaking of true capitalism...

"True capitalism" is exactly what he called it, a religion - and like all such, not so rosy in what it really leads to in practice, especially if followed ardently by true believers.
Sure, it's very useful in many ways, but a) not to the exclusion of other models b) often missing the larger picture...
...like your examples.

Capitalist forces tend to easily dismantle "good transportation" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_conspiracy http://www.kyon.pl/img/18980,car,bus,traffic,.html ), which does heavily depend on sensible & coordinated large-scale planning (say, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curitiba#Public_transport ) ...things for which we do ~govs for.

Food: our present agriculture doesn't exist thanks to capitalism, it exists thanks to taking resources from the past and somewhat spoiling the future ones (don't try to to convince anybody it doesn't, with half of all species gone by the end of the century, smth that will be one of most rapid extinction events in geological record) - our agriculture runs on fossil fuels ...which is slightly insane ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_welfare_and_ecological_foot... ) but, yes, you can argue also "capitalist" or smth.

Computers: many fundamental research necessary for modern computers, major earlier usages of machines which led to them, or to modern computer networks, were financed in not exactly capitalist fashion - either considered too risky, or with its outright focus on activities done by govs, censuses and such.
(which weren't very exclusive to stereotypical capitalist places; and, touching on sustainability & ignoring real costs: computers and electronics in general being among most "dirty" and resource-intensive things, yay)


The above touched on the larger picture that I mentioned - what really gave us "the ability to expand, innovate and so forth" was... stumbling on easy availability of cheap energy, while ignoring its real long-term costs (but such free lunch might very well end one day).
Hence capitalism (also it, of course) is a religion because it has really only mild relation to the true nature of our "ability to expand, innovate and so forth" in the past 2 or 3 centuries, it shrouds the dynamics of what was happening in myths.



Those contracts, that you cherish, work only because of... yup, gov stewardship. At the very least, thanks to a threat of intervention.
Govs provide framework in which we can sensibly do business and wealth, it's far from stealing it.
Also, curiously, the most decent places to live happen to have fairly extensive and functional systems of of governance (and BTW, places popularly derided as "nanny states" have highest social mobility, the measure of how much your position results from your own efforts) ...but I'm sure you'd dismiss it as just coincidence. Like you seem to not remember about immense contributions of, say, various UN bodies (sort of top expression of us and our govs) to stabilise the world... (which does include limiting outright exploits of commercial interests)

Edited 2012-03-18 00:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: How sincere
by lemur2 on Mon 12th Mar 2012 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How sincere"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Mostly is just a small section that is FLOSS friendly, while the rest thinks on the shareholders benefits.


May I remind you that the goal of a company is to make "profit". So yes, everybody in the company should be concerned with the shareholders benefits, that is their jobs. Even the FLOSS friendly people should be mostly concerned with the shareholders benefits. And if there is a way to make profits by being FLOSS friendly, I am sure shareholders and companies will be very open to the idea.

The truth is that making money with FLOSS is very difficult, it is mostly consulting companies that manages to make a profit out of it, or companies that use dual licensing (GPL+Commercial for instance), but then it gets closer to the "free for non-commercial use" model.

So yes, most companies prefer to see FLOSS as a way to save cost on non-strategic components (like the kernel of the os) while keeping a firm grip on what differentiate them from the competitions (just try to imagine how much profit Apple would have made if they had opened source iOS).
"

The vast majority of companies do not sell software. For them, software is purely a cost.

So it transpires that most companies prefer to see FLOSS as a way to save cost on software, period.

In fact, for companies whose primary business is not selling software, collaborating with other companies on open source projects is an excellent opportunity to reduce cost, and therefore increase profit and hence shareholder value.

Here is just one example:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/the-open-source-car/9193

http://www.itproportal.com/2011/07/08/toyota-becomes-gold-member-li...

Toyota's goal is indeed to make a profit ... on the sale of its cars. Software is a component within Toyota's cars, and therefore a cost of production. Toyota's profit is enhanced if the use of FOSS licenses and development practices can reduce the cost of software components of Toyota's products.

There are many, many more companies in Toyota's position (regarding the costs and profit opportunities of software development) than there are companies in a position similar to Microsoft, Apple and IBM.

Edited 2012-03-12 22:19 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: How sincere
by moondevil on Tue 13th Mar 2012 10:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: How sincere"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

There are many, many more companies in Toyota's position (regarding the costs and profit opportunities of software development) than there are companies in a position similar to Microsoft, Apple and IBM.


There are many big companies that only take advantage of FLOSS without giving anything back.

I know of many such examples in Fortune 500 companies, thanks to the projects I take part on, even ones you would think are good ones, but which I am not allowed to speak due to NDAs.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: How sincere
by agb242 on Tue 13th Mar 2012 19:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: How sincere"
agb242 Member since:
2012-03-13

Well, you have a choice to not be a part of those companies or use their products. Pretty simple I think. Funny thing about the freedom to choose.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: How sincere
by zima on Sat 17th Mar 2012 23:21 UTC in reply to "RE: How sincere"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

In the end while Microsoft is seen as the dark lord, most big corporations behave exactly the same way, and just because a small unit does a few FLOSS contributions, then get forgiven by the community.

And then, to top it off, there's irony bonus: how many remember MS open source contributions?

(yeah, not many of those - right off I can recall Allegiance, Barrelfish, F# and its relation and contributions to OCaml, maybe one or two another ~functional languages, IronPython, probably not much more - but this is MS, so they should be hostile or smth...)

Reply Score: 2

IcedTea and OpenJDK now part of OIN
by lemur2 on Wed 14th Mar 2012 09:47 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

http://gnu.wildebeest.org/blog/mjw/2012/03/06/icedtea-and-openjdk-n...

The Open Invention Network patent agreement now also covers IcedTea and OpenJDK (see the new System Environment Components list). The covered version of GCC/GNU Classpath/libgcj have been updated to the latest release and various GNU Classpath[X] components have been added. As have the Eclipse SDK and ECJ. This is good news since that means the various companies which are part of OIN (Red Hat, IBM, Oracle, Google, Sony, Philips, Novell etc.) have agreed to patent cross-license and release from claims of patent infringement each other and everybody who joins OIN and agrees to collaborate in the same way around GNU/Linux and the various implementations of the java programming language.

Note that this outcome effectively gives Google a patent license for OpenJDK. I don't know if this now makes it tough for Oracle's lawsuit against Google.

Reply Score: 2