Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Mar 2007 22:07 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Microsoft Software behemoth Microsoft could be one of the biggest losers from proposed license changes to the Linux operating system unveiled Wednesday. That's a possible outcome of updates to the license pushed by the FSF. The FSF wants to make mutually exclusive pacts such as the Novell-Microsoft open-source agreement a violation of the next iteration of the GNU GPL, the license that governs Linux use. "It is unfortunate that the FSF is attempting to use the GPLv3 to prevent future collaboration among industry leaders to benefit customers," said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president of intellectual property and licensing.
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by lemur2 on Fri 30th Mar 2007 03:21 UTC in reply to "RE"
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{ So does a codec (audo/video/whatever) fall under the realm of software? }

Yes, it does.

{ In other words, should a codec fall under copyright or patent? } }

Copyrights are meant to be able to restrict the copying of published works, so copyright could apply to published software code to protect that particular expression. Copyrights should not apply to works that are not published. You could argure that you can copyright the exact binary pattern in any given executable, and that would not prevent independent competing implementations from being written, so that is fair enough. You can then sue people who sell direct binary copies of your executable codec files without your permission.

Patents should apply to "inventive methods of doing <some function>". Not to "<some function>" per se. It is very debateable if a "codec" represents a patentable invention or not, just as it is entirely debateable if patents should apply to any software. Even Microsoft, apparently, have argued in court that patents should not apply to pure software.

{ IMHO, if you spend hundreds or thousands of dollar and/or man hours developing something like that, you deserve to be compensated for it monetarily. }

No problem with that. You can sell your version of your codec for as much as you think it will sell for.

I can't see a valid arguement for giving away a codec for free but at the same time trying to prevent other people from writing an independant implementation of the same codec ... especially if they write it for a platform that you do not support yourself.

{ While some would choose to give their work away for the greater good of man, we're not all socialists ;) }

While some would desire to restrict other people from doing original work in competition to themselves, fortunately we are not all despotic control freaks.

Edited 2007-03-30 03:30

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