Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th May 2009 22:32 UTC, submitted by lemur2
Mono Project If there is one technology in the Linux world that ruffles feathers whenever it's mentioned, it's Mono, the open source .Net clone. Since .Net comes out of Microsoft, and has some patents encircling it, it is said to be a legal nightmare. Supposedly, you can obtain a "royalty-free, reasonable and non-discriminatory" license from Microsoft regarding the patents surrounding Mono. iTWire decided to look at just how easy (or hard) it is to get such a license. Turns out it's kind of hard.
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Missing the point on license
by pooo on Fri 29th May 2009 23:31 UTC
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a)MS holds a variety patents on all parts of its C# implementation, ECMA standardized parts and otherwise
b)ECMA standardization has nothing to do with patents as long as the patent holder agrees to make available with RAND terms
c)This is where there is a misunderstanding: The patent holder can require a license if they like but that license must fit the definition of RAND. MS is currently not requiring or even offering any license regarding C#.

They can start asking for licensing any time they want. The big question is what does RAND really mean?? People love to think that this means MS will never ask for anything but RAND in the proprietary software world could mean asking for $1K/developer licenses or $0.05/download fees for distribution to end users. These are "reasonable" terms.

Basically using mono/moonlight is using something that MS can charge you for whenever they feel like it and trust me they will feel like it once (if ever) Linux really starts to threaten their profitability.

That Miguel De Icasa gave some total bullcrap answer when asked about this licensing is not surprising or new. This guy is such a microsoft shill that I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't somehow secretly getting money from MS. On the one hand he says don't worry about it and people who do worry are paranoid MS haters but on the other hand he give totally b.s. answers to simple questions which either means he doesn't know what he is talking about and is a fool playing with fire or he is outright lying.

As for whether we should care, saying no because they aren't going to come to my house and get me is very short sighted. People (especially Miguel) have been trying to weasel Mono into the core of gnome and linux for a long time and luckily they have failed. Had they succeeded and Mono became a big/integral part of Gnome and then a couple years down the road Gnome/Linux start to threaten MS and they say they are going to charge 5 cents per end user...BAM! Gnome dies a horrible death because charging 1 cent is so antithetical to the very existence of any large FOSS project. That is why you SHOULD care very much and be very worried about people sneaking ever more Mono crap onto your Linux desktop.

MS will never provide licenses bye the way, at least not until they plan to destroy linux and/or gnome. Doing so would force them to show their hand before the fish fully swallowed the hook (gnome integrating mono) or it would lock them into a free license that would prevent them from ever using their patents as leverage.

Edited 2009-05-29 23:39 UTC

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