Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:00 UTC
Microsoft Well, paint me red and call me a girl scout, I totally did not see this one coming at all. This is so utterly surprising it made my brain explode. Hold on to your panties, because this will rock your world. After pressuring several smaller Android vendors into submission (and yes, HTC is still relatively small compared to other players), Microsoft is now moving on to the big one: Redmond is demanding $15 for every Samsung Android device sold. Samsung's choices are simple: pay up, or face another epic lawsuit.
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lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

I really wish you were right, but the courts have permitted software patent holders to go after software developers. So long as this is the case, software patents are effectively valid in the US. It's one of the reasons unlicensed linux distros cannot directly include mp3 players (for one example).


Actually, a number of Linux distributions do in fact directly include mp3 players, and DVD players for that matter.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=mint

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=ultimate

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=pclinuxos

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=sabayon

All of these distribute software only, none of them distribute a "specific machine". None of them have ever been challenged.

The owners of mp3 patents may or may not be able to sue any individual in the US who installed any of this software on a specific machine, but I can't see how doing that would be worth their while. Even then, the owner of the machine can simply point out that it is a general-purpose machine, it is not adapted or modified in any way to specifically function as an mp3 player.

AFAIK, this project has not been directly challenged either, and it still is active:

http://lame.sourceforge.net/about.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAME

LAME is distributed by the project as source code only, but you will find binary executables of LAME on the Linux distributions listed above.

Edited 2011-07-11 09:47 UTC

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