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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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

niemau Member since:
2007-06-28

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.


the funny thing is, no matter what their intention, using mono greatly serves to divide the FOSS community. and that certainly benefits them. so, when it really comes down to it, MS's options are such that they can:

- let mono grow and prosper... heck, all of the sudden everybody is magically on the MS bandwagon, whether or not they're following the OSS implementation or the MS one. MS wins!
- start throwing out vague (or not so vague) patent threats. it certainly wouldn't be the first time. (and hell, we *still* don't know which 235-odd patents are being supposedly infringed from last time the patent topic came up.) once again, dividing the community. MS wins!

ugh. they know full well that the strength of the FOSS community is... well, the *community*. they are obviously counting their lucky stars that so many are eating up the mono candy.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Before we know it, we've traded a partially open media standard (Flash) for a completely closed one (Silverlight).

??? Please, this is totally untrue. Flash not open, only its Javascript is documented, it may be riddled with just as many patents as Silverlight is. And nowhere has Adobe said anything about RAND licenses. As far as we know, SWFDEC and Gnash developers and distributors could be sued by Adobe at any moment. Only the users of Adobe's proprietary flash plugin are safe.

Silverlight, on the other hand is fully documented. Microsoft itself is helping in its development, and is even licensing the codecs. I don't think they can whine to the judge things like 'your honour, these guys are copying us', when they invite those guys to the developers meetings, they provide them with documentation and tech help, nad they make the Linux versions of the codecs themselves.

This surely puts Silverlight in a much better position than Flash, although it is probably not good enough until MS speaks clearly.

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