[Mono-devel-list] Some legal concerns...

Miguel de Icaza miguel at ximian.com
Tue Nov 25 11:44:59 EST 2003


> First, I want to say that I am a big fan of the Mono project.   I think the 
> work your doing and have done thus far is fantastic.  I am very much enjoying 
> using Mono on Linux.   In fact, I have to say that Mono is the reason I'm 
> using Linux again now - I have been developing in C# since the beta's and 
> when I saw the progress Mono has been making, I just had to jump to this side 
> of the fence and see what's going on :)
> Anyway, here's my question - and I am a bit embarresed to ask...  But, I have 
> been in this sort of on going debate on usenet and at work about the future 
> of Mono from a legal standpoint.  There are a lot of people telling me that 
> I'm crazy to put any resources into developing anything in Mono - since they 
> claim, MS is going to shut it down at the first sign of success.   They claim 
> that the MS patents on the API's make Mono an illlegal implementation.  I 
> personally think that this will not happen - and I am continuing to evaluate 
> Mono for potential future development....   I guess what I'm asking for is a 
> little reassurance that these doomsday scenarios are bogus.   Things like, do 
> you have a license or some kind of agreement with MS?

The situation has not changed from the past.

We have a patent policy on the FAQ on the Mono site, which has been
updated as new events develop, and you might want to read that:


There is no agreement with Microsoft, but the code of Mono has no
problems with patents (for details see the FAQ again).

For components above the ECMA stack: there is fundamentally little or
no new technologies on top of that code, it is just a rehash of
existing and old ideas, so there is prior art.   

I do not know how to characterize the scared reaction that various
people have.  My personal feeling is that since people have some
hatered for Microsoft, they have to find ways in which to attack
anything that is related to them.

If I were worried about patents, I would be more worried about file
formats and protocols that open source systems use to interact with
Windows than with an API.


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