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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RE[6]: minefield
by setec_astronomy on Mon 1st Jun 2009 12:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: minefield"
setec_astronomy
Member since:
2007-11-17

If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License.
(emphasis mine).

Perhaps it's my error, but I interpret this section of the GPL so that it does not need a court decision to trigger this clause. All it needs is

a.) a necessary patent license for implementing let's say an ECMA specification (which according to the articles seems to be necessary)
b.) with terms incompatible to the GPL
c.) and somebody starting to demand adherence to this license selectively

that distributing of Mono under the terms of the GPL and LGPL (well, at least those parts that are licensed this way) will have to stop.

This is exactly what I was trying to convey with my first response to your post, btw.

The fact that Mono adheres to the ECMA spec is completely voluntary on the part of the Mono project but this fact also gives them a lot of legal leeway, so that the project and their lawyers can claim deception should Microsoft choose to sue.

There would be no need for this ambiguity if there was
a proper patent license.


This is just plain double standards. Why don't you write Guido and ask him for a (legally binding) list of patents that python is infringing on?


Does Guido or any other of the Python devs have any patents which they may choose to license only in incompatible terms to the users of Python? Does Guido has a special patent covenant not to sue over patents with one mixed source vendor? Has Guido recently sued for example a hardware manufactor over his "special" implemenation of the vfat feature in the Linux kernel while silently collecting license fees from other vendors in a fashion which raises doubts about the conformance to the GPL?

Thought so.

If Mono is in a position (frankly, I have to claim irrogance on this point) to relicense the GPL/LGPL based parts of their project so that they don't have to deal with the patent fallout than this would indeed at least mitigate the risk of "pulling the plug" at mono. It does, however, leave a shallow taste.

Why on earth do you not just download it yourself and see. Moonlight and the MS Codecs are two different things, it is up to you if you want to install the MS Codecs or not. Moonlight comes standard with free Codecs only.


I was not talking about the codecs, but about the "Covenant to Downstream Recipients of Moonlight" (at least it does not mention any mpeg or related patents, explicitly excludes any other technology not directly associated with the plugin in its languague, hence I have to assume that this covers the plugin itself and not the codec), which can be found here:

http://www.microsoft.com/interop/msnovellcollab/moonlight.mspx

I may be wrong here, so please correct me if this is the case, but the definitions of "Downstream Recipients" and "Intermediate Recipients" in the document above seem to exclude a lot of potential parties to the GPL.

(e.g. downstream recipient is anybody who gets the software directly from novell and is not an intermediate recipient, intermediate recipients are not allowed to peddle their own branded version of operating sytstems).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: minefield
by Slambert666 on Mon 1st Jun 2009 14:55 in reply to "RE[6]: minefield"
Slambert666 Member since:
2008-10-30

"If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License.
(emphasis mine).

Perhaps it's my error, but I interpret this section of the GPL so that it does not need a court decision to trigger this clause. All it needs is

a.) a necessary patent license for implementing let's say an ECMA specification (which according to the articles seems to be necessary)
b.) with terms incompatible to the GPL
c.) and somebody starting to demand adherence to this license selectively
"

So you think that if Microsoft says linux infringes on 234 patents of theirs, then there is an alleged patent infringement and the kernel is in violation of the GPL? LOL :-)

What the GPL quote means is that you have to stay compliant with the remainder of the terms in the GPL even if a court order forces you to be non compliant with one of the terms.

As for the rest of your stuff, I'm now convinced that you are a anti FOSS troll working under the pretense of being pro FOSS. Obviously you want programmers to spend their time on patent licenses rather than programming.

Reply Parent Score: 1