Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 16:43 UTC, submitted by mwtomlinson
Novell and Ximian The Free Software Foundation is reviewing Novell's right to sell new versions of Linux operating system software after the open-source community criticized Novell for teaming up with Microsoft. "The community of people wants to do anything they can to interfere with this deal and all deals like it. They have every reason to be deeply concerned that this is the beginning of a significant patent aggression by Microsoft," Eben Moglen, the Foundation's general counsel, said on Friday. Update: The FSF claims this is being hyped.
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RE[5]: FUD...
by rayiner on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: FUD..."
rayiner
Member since:
2005-07-06

Having or not having gay marriage isn't something that impacts the protection of the community as a whole. A better example would be making a law that regulates the use of X-rays in machines. Before X-rays became widely used, such laws weren't needed. When X-rays were originally discovered, people used them very irresponsibly in machines, leading to numerous fatalities. Eventually, the government had to step in and set regulations.

This is analogous to the situation with patent terms in the GPLv3. Software patents weren't a major source of abuse 16 years ago when the GPLv2 was written. Now, software patents are a significant source of abuse, one one that is becoming more threatening over time. Again, IBM, Sun, and the Mozilla foundation all realized the importance of addressing software patents directly in the license. It's no surprise the FSF does too.

For everyone who thinks the FSF is alone in their thinking, try reading the OpenSolaris license sometime. The CDDL includes numerous patent clauses, and includes a termination clause that revokes your right to distribute a piece of CDDL'ed software if you claim patent infringement against the developer or any contributer to that software. This covers any patents at all, not just ones contained in the software in question.

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