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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Dude, you are a patent apologist.

There are no good software patents and it does not matter who has them and what they do with them. Trying to differentiate between good and bad patents lends credibility to the software patent system, and it does not deserve that.

I will not enter this road, because as a trained computational physicist the mere idea of a patent on math is perverse. There are no good but only bad software patents, in my book.

For the time being (e.g. as long as there are jurisdictions where software patents are granted and enforced), the best thing we can do while working on abolishing the very idea of software patents is to create a "safe zone" for (FOSS) software, e.g. a body of patents that is not actively enforced at least against FOSS projects. (Cue in OIN, patent commons, etc.).

A RAND-Z license for a patent is one patent less we have to worry about until the patent system is reformed, which will be difficult and will take its time. A patent in a defensive found is one more that will scare away predatory players until the patent system is reformed, although this constructions will unfortunately not work with patent trolls, so no false sense of security should be deduced from such pools.

The reason for the patent language of the GPLv2 is not to provide players hostile to the idea or implementation of FOSS with a handy kill switch, it is to ensure that participents fo the FOSS ecosystem do their best to ensure that nobody is singled out when the cold patent war turns into a hot one. I may be unfair towards MS and Novell, but their attempt to find a loophole in this shield essentially betrays the intentions behind the license they choose for parts of Mono, which is one of the major reasons why I'm suspicous or paranoid.

Singling out Mono as a "special" target for "patent infringement" just shows irrational bias... Why not OpenGL or Skinning (for gods sake)

So instead of dealing with the patent mess we currently have by using the tools available (patent licenses compatible with the GPLv2, defensive patent collections, and scrunity), we should just pretend that the lightning rods on our respective backs have equal length and where the lightning strikes is determined by chance alone? Interesting philosophy.

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