Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Mar 2013 21:09 UTC
Legal Late last week, Nokia dropped what many consider to be a bomb on the WebM project: a list of patents that VP8 supposedly infringes in the form of an IETF IPR declaration. The list has made the rounds around the web, often reported as proof that VP8 infringes upon Nokia's patents. All this stuff rang a bell. Haven't we been here before? Yup, we have, with another open source codec called Opus. Qualcomm and Huawei made the same claims as Nokia did, but they turned out to be complete bogus. As it turns out, this is standard practice in the dirty business of the patent licensing industry.
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RE[4]: Here we go again
by galvanash on Tue 26th Mar 2013 15:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Here we go again"
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So, you knowingly infringe on patents and release it as free software?

"Just a research project" is as bogus an excuse as excuses go, and the affirmation that you do not compete... Well, by releasing it "free", you undercut the patent holders, who would have no problem arguing it in court. Bogus bogus bogus.

I can't understand why anyone would mod this bullsh*t up...

Do you have any idea how expensive it is to write software that is knowingly free of patent issues??? You make it sound like people doing OSS are just running around intentionally trampling on patents like gleeful children... The problem isn't anyone knowingly doing it - the problem is it is virtually impossible to find out if your code is infringing without spending huge amounts of $$$ on lawyers and staff to do patent clearances.

Sure, ReactOS is very likely infringing on some patents somewhere. But so it just about every piece of OSS in existence. So what? If the patent holder has a beef, they can take it up with the project and it will usually get worked out amiably. If your project is non-profit, for the most part there is no incentive at all for a patent holder to bother with it. Most of the OSS world ignores patents - and there is nothing at all wrong with that.

You imply that taking this approach is somehow "wrong". Why? The entire system is geared to protect financial gain. Most OSS projects are not in it for financial gain - therefore there is no justification for the expense of doing patent clearances. Patents are simply ignored - and unless there is genuine damage being done, why would anyone care? Do you really think that ReactOS is hurting Microsoft sales right now?

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