Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 17th Jul 2011 20:58 UTC, submitted by fran
Linux It's strange. Microsoft has been patent trolling the heck out of the Linux kernel for a long time now, and is still using these patents against Android today in its protection money scheme. However, as LWN.net illustrates, Microsoft makes quite a few contributions to the Linux kernel. Shouldn't this invalidate their patent claims?
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RE: Hooks
by cmchittom on Mon 18th Jul 2011 10:53 UTC in reply to "Hooks"
cmchittom
Member since:
2011-03-18

Forgive me if that was a joke, but if it wasn't, you apparently don't understand licensing at all. The GPL has more restrictions[1] than the BSD/MIT/X license, restrictions which, presumably, those who contributed code to Linux want on their code. In order to fork Linux under a new license, you'd have to get permission from every single copyright holder who's contributed even a one-line patch.[2] Good luck with that.

[1] Not trying to start a "BSD vs. GPL: Which Is More Free?" argument. By "restrictions," I just mean that the GPL requires you to do more stuff if you redistribute the code, which is demonstrably factual.

[2] The reverse, of course, is not true. As I understand it, you could, for example, quite legally fork FreeBSD under the GPL (since the BSD license essentially says "You can do whatever you want with this except claim you wrote it"). Practically speaking, such an effort would probably fail, but there'd be no legal difficulty.

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