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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RE: Help us decipher this
by wawrzyn on Sat 30th May 2009 14:25 UTC in reply to "Help us decipher this"
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>So are we allowed to use this in Fedora, or not?

Lol... You're making to simple questions and want simple answers! It's not working like that in lawyers' world. They're not computer scientists, engineers etc. You can ask so simple question and you'll receive very complicated answer. This happens usually everywhere, where you have corporate interestes and proprietary software, patents, intelectual goods etc.

That is why I like GNU-GPL or BSD license - simple to understand and clear. So clear, that the first license is not liked in corporations and is considered non-business friendly. The second one is welcome almost everywhere, because you can easily close your products and then... Complicate all the things in standard manner, using your lawyers ;-) To have a possibility of double, triple or even quarduple interpretation ;-)

I think that sometimes the problem is that lawyers don't understand the ideas behind the technology, especially behind the software. The situation is not easy to resolve, because we - computer scientists, engineers etc. (put your IT occupation name here) - also don't understand the idea behind the law and its tools. We prefer simple, effective solutions (it's the knowledge which comes to our minds from studying algorithms and optimization) - questions and answers, simple steps of deduction logic. I think in lawyers' world effective solution don't have to be simple and optimized. Sometimes it's better if it's "soft" enough to be interpreted according to your current needs. And we cannot meet in the middle between law and technology (see the discussions about software patents).

So, you'll not get the strict answer for your questions so quickly. Such answer would close the field of possible manoeuvre - it's not good.

Once again, that is why I appreciate GNU GPL and BSD licenses (and some other known in Free Software movement). Simplicity. Moreover, I think these licenses are the best examples that we - lawyers and IT guys - can create effective solutions, based on the law which understand the idea of software very well... And vice-versa. These licenses have born because we realized that we need law to protect our products.

Edited 2009-05-30 14:32 UTC

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