BSD folks position on GPL, Novell, IBM, SCO, and MS...

Jan Husar jan.husar at skosi.org
Tue Nov 28 17:21:59 PST 2006


You hited the target, but as you prolly know also double-click is patentable....

;(

Jan

On 11/29/06, Tim Clewlow <tim1timau at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> --- Mike Hauber <mchauber at gmx.net> wrote:
>
> > From: Mike Hauber <mchauber at gmx.net>
> > To: freebsd-advocacy at freebsd.org,
> >  jan.husar at skosi.org
> > Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 17:13:10 -0500
> > CC:
> > Subject: Re: BSD folks position on GPL, Novell, IBM, SCO, and MS...
> >
> > On Tuesday 28 November 2006 15:21, Jan Husar proclaimed:
> > > On 11/28/06, Mike Hauber <mchauber at gmx.net> wrote:
> > > > On Tuesday 28 November 2006 07:08, Jan Husar proclaimed:
> > > > > On 11/28/06, Dag-Erling Smørgrav <des at des.no> wrote:
> > > > > > Mike Hauber <mchauber at gmx.net> writes:
> > > > > > > I was just wondering what the general consensus was on the GPL,
> > > > > > > Linux in general, SCOs lawsuit, Sun's open sourcing, IBMs
> > > > > > > contributions to Linux, Novell's contributions, Novell's deal with
> > > > > > > MS and how this really affects SuSe (there's a lot of hype on that
> > > > > > > and I literally don't know what to believe at this point).
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Why should we care?
> > > > > >
> > > > > > The SCO lawsuits are doubly irrelevant: firstly because SCO is not
> > > > > > going to win, secondly because BSD is immune by virtue of the 1994
> > > > > > settlement with USL.
> > > >
> > > > I don't think the USL settlement matters to SCO.  After all, Linux is
> > > > immune by virtue of the GPL (in addition to SCOs claims being
> > > > fraudulent), but that didn't stop SCO from making fools of themselves.
> > > > It's not Darl and company specifically that I'm worried about.  It's
> > > > other companies that can come along and pull the same stunts.  How long
> > > > would it take before prospective customers get weary of the idea of open
> > > > source as a whole if litigation claims (fraudulent as they may be)
> > > > continue?
> > >
> > > Well, GPL v2 isn't the security as it was before, when you counts
> > > software patents.
> > > That's why there is this "extremic" proposal for gpl version3, or
> > > better say some people found it extremic. If you look at US there is
> > > lot of extremic stuff going around, e.g.
> > > new companies (patent trolls) which have only reason to exist to
> > > create patents and sue everybody.
> > >
> > > > > > As for the Novell-MS deal, I don't see how it affects BSD at all.
> > > > >
> > > > > You are right, there is no direct affect on BSD however software
> > > > > patents is in issue no matter if it's GPL or BSD mostly in United
> > > > > States, in EU we are still fighting the patent problematics.
> > > > >
> > > > > Today is voting in ITRE (Information, Technology, Research and Energy)
> > > > > committee within European Parliament about IPRED (Intelectual Property
> > > > > Rights Enforcment Directive) which basicly means, criminalization of
> > > > > abusing of patents, trademarks and copyright (e.g. sentece to jail,
> > > > > freeze of accounts and so on)
> > > >
> > > > This was pretty much my concern as far as OSS goes.  If SCO actually
> > > > succeeded with their claims (which I know they won't), or if other SCOs
> > > > come along, I don't think the only target would be the GPL.  I see patent
> > > > issues becoming a real problem not just for the GPL side of things but
> > > > the BSDs as well (my stance, of course, is that it shouldn't because
> > > > patents lately have been blindly awarded and seemingly requested for the
> > > > purpose of fraudulent lawsuits).  If companies are scrambling for patents
> > > > in order to bring litigation or to protect themselves from litigation via
> > > > counter-suits, I doubt that when the fingers start pointing, the GPLd or
> > > > BSDd code would be excluded...  In fact, I tend to think they would be a
> > > > preferred target just because it's open source, and we are by far the
> > > > biggest threat that proprietary companies have.
> > >
> > > Patents is problem for propietary, non-propietary, freeware or
> > > opensource e.g. all the software out there.
> > >
> > > > I see this basically as a threat to everyone, not just the few it's
> > > > starting out with.  That's why I asked, and I hadn't really heard much at
> > > > all from the BSD side of the aisle.
> > >
> > > Yes, the BSD community is kinda quiet also in Europe, I found that
> > > really negative.
> > >
> > > > What if Sun pulls a SCO with their Java?  If IBM pulls a SCO with their
> > > > contributions?  If Novell pulls a SCO with their contributions?  I would
> > > > like to think that their intentions are honest, but after SCO, and then
> > > > MSs very weird deal with Novell, who knows?  (and by the way, is IBM
> > > > working with the BSD community as well?  I hadn't read anything on that,
> > > > and would be interested to know more if they are).
> > >
> > > This is just a speculation and really lame one ;/
> > >
> > > > Although my preference is the BSD license, I'm very much a fan of OSS,
> > > > whether it be licensed under the BSD or GPL, and I'm just concerned about
> > > > whether or not this could escalate into a trend against OS code in
> > > > general.
> > > >
> > > > Appreciate your inputs.  Thanks,
> > > >
> > > > Mike
> > >
> > > Current situation of the patents in EU or better say in Europe.
> > >
> > > 2005 - European Parliament rejected computer impemented invetitions
> > > directive (which means for 4 years the same or similliar directive
> > > can't come to vote)
> > > 2006 - European Parliament adopted a new directive EPLA (European
> > > Patent Litigation Agreement), which basicly means EPO (European Patent
> > > Office, which is outisde the democratic control of EU) will have their
> > > own courts and judges for the patent problematics and nobody can't
> > > tell them what to do, even if the EP (European Parliament) rejected
> > > CII (Computer Implemented Invetitions)
> > > 2006 - IPRED2, criminalization of patent, trademark and copyright abuse
> > > 2007 - Community Patent, backdoor for software patents and other nasty
> > > stuff (such as dna, nano, drug, research patents and so on)
> > >
> > >
> > > As you can see there are lot of problems around adopting patent
> > > "protection", right now the situation is bad, but can be worse. EPO is
> > > granting software patents even if they aren't  aplicable in Europe,
> > > after EPLA will come to it's function or Community Patent based on
> > > London/Munich patent agreement we will have really similliar situation
> > > like the United States have now.
> > >
> > > Hows the patent problematics and law is in United states I have just
> > > conclusion and information from news paper. Is there someone dealing
> > > with it in US?
> > >
> > > Jan
> >
> > Whoa.  You seem to be far more legally inclined than I, so I'm not even going
> >
> > to pretend to know anything specific as far as what actions are being taken
> > by .gov here in the States.  However, I do know that there are patents
> > popping up that the OSS communites are growing more and more concerned about.
> >
> > One example: (link may wrap):
> >
> >
> http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,140,028.PN.&OS=PN/7,140,028&RS=PN/7,140,028
> >
> > I provide the link, but I couldn't tell you much about the language of the
> > patent itself, except to reiterate whats already been said.  This is a patent
> >
> > for compiling code to run on different operating systems...  If that really
> > is the case, then I don't think that it's just the GCC at risk.
> >
> > There should be laws about claiming things like this.  There is nothing
> > unique
> > about it, and most developers kits have something at least too similar for MS
> >
> > to say, "This is our idea, and we would like to protect it."  If it's unique
> > to them, then fine.  But if it's something that has been used by most
> > developers out there, it available to the public to use at will, it's methods
> >
> > are commonly known, then the patent in no way, shape, or form should be
> > issued.  In fact, I believe that companies who do this should have to pay
> > fines for even attempting it.
> >
> > Mike
>
> Microsoft appear to be claiming that the idea of using one type of computer to
> build an operating system for a different type of computer is their idea.
> Unfortunately (for Microsoft) this practice has been known in the "public
> domain" for decades. This claim would be laughable if it wasnt serious -
> instead it is just pathetic.
>
> Tim.
>
>
>
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