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.
Thread beginning with comment 366107
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Missing the point on license
by twm_bucket on Fri 29th May 2009 23:41 UTC in reply to "Missing the point on license"
twm_bucket
Member since:
2008-10-09

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.

A little harsh but the core point is true. He is the guy pushing Mono and every time is confronted dodges the question.

Reply Parent Score: 9

pel! Member since:
2005-07-07

I can understand how someone comes to like c# and silverlight. They are all rather well designed and once you wrap your head around everything you start to get a sense of appreciation for the sheer engineering effort.

Mono - in itself - too has many interesting and downright cool features.

That doesn't stop the fact that the patent situation is a bit cumbersome. But bashing Miguel for this is unfair. He has every right to be enthusiastic about mono and moonlight. Hey - at the very least mono is Open Source. Remember the days with "Open" ment Open APIs - if you bought the manuals?

Freedom is important to me - but it has its limits when it comes to practical matters. I can allow myself to pay for software - heck I pay for a few free software projects today. It's called donating.

Reply Parent Score: 4

pooo Member since:
2006-04-22

Freedom is important to me - but it has its limits when it comes to practical matters. I can allow myself to pay for software - heck I pay for a few free software projects today. It's called donating.


Great. Good for you. Seriously. You have to keep in mind though that Gnome and Linux are *FREE* software (as in beer and freedom). Free. F-R-E-E. Mono and C# are currently free as in beer but are absolutely not free as in Freedom and their is no guarantee that they will even stay free as in Beer.

Incorporating proprietary technologies into FOSS projects is not an option. At all. So while you and Miguel can do whatever you want and I agree it is no one's business in general, when someone tries to push this technology into a free project under false pretenses that is lame. Saying so is not "bashing". Saying so is just the truth and being pissed at Miguel about it is perfectly justified.

Reply Parent Score: 4

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Freedom is important to me - but it has its limits when it comes to practical matters. I can allow myself to pay for software - heck I pay for a few free software projects today. It's called donating.


... You do understand this has -nothing- to do with money.
If Mono is indeed patent-encumbered, it's an end-game situation, as it effectively prevents down-stream re-distribution which more-or-less go against everything that Linux represents.

While I dislike the harsh words that were used by my predecessors, the mere fact that Miguel even thought about using Mono as a core GNOME component without clarifying this issue to being with, should have been a good reason to revoke his commit privileges.

- Gilboa

Reply Parent Score: 4

graigsmith Member since:
2006-04-05

odds are microsoft isn't going to sue over a programming language.

Reply Parent Score: -1

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

odds are microsoft isn't going to sue over a programming language.


Maybe not... but we're discussing a whole lot more than a programming language here. C# is the language, but you have the runtime and interface, the C# core libraries and VM... all of which are in one nice legal gray area right now. Are they patented or not, and how does the licensing stand? Until we know that, every Mono-based project has a potential axe waving right above it... and that doesn't even cover Moonlight's contradictory and completely convoluted distribution rights. Put this all together and you've got one massive legal bomb waiting to blow up at the touch of a button (figure of speech, of course) from Redmond and, no matter what the eventual outcome, any project with Mono at the core of it will effectively be put on hold, as will Moonlight... all the while Microsoft could push Silverlight aggressively while the legal battles rage for years. Before we know it, we've traded a partially open media standard (Flash) for a completely closed one (Silverlight).
A very simple way to put all this to rest would be for Microsoft to come out and put something, signed and in writing, concerning these issues... but, until then, their intentions remain unknown. For all we know they're counting on the vast majority of us not giving a hoot up until they push the button. I'm not saying they are, but the point is that we have no idea what they're up to... and they could easily kill off Mono and Moonlight whenever they wish. It's foolish to hang the noose around your own neck with someone waiting to let you fall, and for right now, that may be exactly what those who develop using Mono might be doing.

Reply Parent Score: 3

mabhatter Member since:
2005-07-17

odds are microsoft isn't going to sue over a programming language.


Put your savings, house, and salary for the last 5 years up for those odds and see how that turns out . That's reality for most small software businesses like consulting firms to small/medium businesses. After 2-3 years then the VC might come your way, but you have to get started on your own.

Not to mention the damage that lawyer fees would do to your business even if you win on a matter like this.

Edited 2009-05-30 15:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

odds are microsoft isn't going to sue over a programming language.


Somehow I doubt that if it was -your- company and/or -your- house/life-savings on the line, you'd be so quick to ignore the possibility that Mono violates MS' patents.

- Gilboa

Reply Parent Score: 2