Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Aug 2010 22:11 UTC, submitted by lfeagan
Legal Most of us here are not particularly big fans of the concept of patents. Most of us are aware of the significance of patents, we just believe the system has gone out of control and needs a serious kick in the butt. Well, it turns out not even the richest people on this earth are immune to the call of the patent troll. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has filed a massive patent lawsuit, using broad and vague patents to sue just about any big name in the business - from Apple to Google.
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RE[3]: Awesome quote!
by vivainio on Sun 29th Aug 2010 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Awesome quote!"
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Two words: open source.

Patent torpedos only work with the following prerequisites:

a) a single entity to sue
b) a legal framework in which to bring a suit

Because of this, there's nothing keeping a collaborative, distributed, international project from implementing whatever they feel like, completely immune from the threat of lawsuit and dissolution.

This is true in the same sense as the following statements:

- copyright laws can't kill piracy
- drug laws can't kill international drug trafficking.

Open source is not meant to be some seedy operation on the fringe of legal establishment, done by "rebels" in their mothers basements. It's a honorable activity, often funded by companies paying real money for development, and should be recognized by legal system as such.

If I was an IT manager that had to choose between an open source project with unclear legal status and a proprietary project with an (apparently) clear one, I'd choose the proprietary one.

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