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Re: Patent issues highlighted by Linux kernel audit

From: Craig Kelley
Subject: Re: Patent issues highlighted by Linux kernel audit
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 11:12:42 -0600
User-agent: Pan/ (As She Crawled Across the Table)

On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 22:37:34 +0300, Abdullah Ramazanoglu wrote:

> begin  Yazid dedi ki:


>> hmm, when the barn is open and the sheeps eat freely on the grassfield, the
>> wolf won't be far away. This is not good.
> Exactly. I think we have a serious leadership problem.

I disagree.  Both IBM and Novell have threatened to sue anyone who tries
to use patents against "Linux" (as in the operating system).  Both
companies have just as an unhealthy supply of patents as any
Linux-detractor owns.  If Microsoft attempts to sue, say, Redhat because
the kernel violates patent such-and-such -- it'll be an equal threat to
all Linux companies.  Any patents that Microsoft violates would then be
subject to litigation.

Imagine that it's a huge poker game.  All these tech companies "own" so
many patents, that nobody is willing to call; because once someone calls,
then everyone will have to throw down.

More fundamentally, software developers shouldn't 1) seek out patents to
implement or 2) worry about infringing on patents while writing code.  If
they do, they will never be able to write anything of value.  Linux has
already reached critical mass in this arena, I would hazard to say.  If
your software is carried by mainstream distributions, then you already
have your patent bases covered.

Not having software patents would be the best solution.  They rarely
create any sort of free market, and are most often used as artificial
barriers to protect oligopies/monopolies.  But, this "mutually assured
destruction" scenario seems to be a somewhat effective means to neuter

The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.
namonai at that google email system

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