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Re: Mono License changes over time and the risks this is presenting.



On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 6:49 PM, MJ Ray<mjr@phonecoop.coop> wrote:
> Peter Dolding <oiaohm@gmail.com> wrote: [...]
>> In fact the head of Microsoft has said That only Novell and other
>> people who have signed agreements is protected.  So all the class
>> libraries of mono need to move to the restricted section.   Hopefully
>> this will push the .Net wanting people to get clarification of the
>> patent status. [...]
>
> "restricted section"?  I think that's confusing debian with another
> distribution that has a restricted component (rhymes with bizar-roo).

non-free is the section I mean.  Items in there have restrictions that
could mean they are non free.

> I think the usual decision is that we'll (re)move it when some people
> demonstrate an actual patent problem for our users.  It's nearly
> impossible for us to decide whether a patent applies and it is in the
> interests of most patent holders to exaggerate their scope.
>
> Hope that explains,
> --

The problem here is that
http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/archives/108806.asp . Steve
Ballmer head of MS has stated many times SUSE users are protected from
patent claims.

There is no such offer for anyone else who has not signed deal with
MS.   There has been no documentation on the .Net standard stating
what the patent risk is.   With java sun publicaly stated that using
patents of theres it implement to standard would not be a breach.

What is more worrying here is the progressions of license conversions
it slowly looks like its completely converting to MIT so meaning
Novell will not be blocked by shipping if Patent claims come.

The simple fact is you cannot develop on top of the MIT based .net
class libraries safely because no one is answering what the status is.

Next is MS and Novell developers have talk about working with each
other.   This is even more risky.   I have seen nothing that clearly
states that the MIT section of mono does not contain MS source code.
If that is the case it a rock solid patent case waiting to happen.

Simple fact you don't have patent coverage to use .Net other than the
GPL sections.   MIT licence does not have a clause that provides
patent coverage.

Its either get a patent deal from MS or  move the risky bits to
non-free until someone can clear up the status with patents on
implementing .net.   You can 100 percent bet MS took out every patent
they could.   Finding the patents would make matters worse because
then you would be in known breach.

Lets just do some preventive action.   Users who want mono still can
use the non-free to get it.   So it does not cripple what users can
do.   People got bitting by MP3 when it become a ISO standard.   We
don't have to be stupid twice.

The question over patent states has been asked to Mono developers
repetitively.   There has to be a point where failing to answer
questions validly on patent questions becomes grounds to move to
non-free.  There are even transcripts around that Mingel the project
lead of Mono cannot get straight answers out of the Novell legal
department.

Mono is basically shonky.  A simple clear and valid statement would
have stopped all this patent worry dead.

Peter Dolding


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