[Mono-devel-list] patents

Jonathan Pryor jonpryor at vt.edu
Sun Mar 20 08:29:16 EST 2005

On Sat, 2005-03-19 at 23:40 -0500, Jeffrey Knight wrote:
> "  Only Miguel or a Novell official can speak about Mono and patents.  "
> I probably I misinterpreted this: why isn't anyone free to speak about
> Mono and patents?
> Mono is GPL'd -- why would a "Novell official" be in a better position
> than anyone else?

Because we've had long, drawn-out "discussions" (flames) about patents
in the past, and we'd rather not repeat them.  *Everyone* has an opinion
about software patents, leading to a "what color should we paint the
barn" scenario -- lots of heat and little progress.

Besides, if a patent lawsuit is started, who will actually be sued?  J.
Random Hacker, or Novell?  As Novell is the copyright holder for most of
Mono (all GPL'd bits need a copyright assignment, IIRC, so this includes
mcs and other apps), they're the logical entity to sue.  Plus, they have
more money than J. Random Hacker.  If anyone else is sued, they can
raise this issue and Novell should be brought into the case.
Consequently, it doesn't matter what other people think, since they're
not taking most of the risks, Novell is.

(Granted, such logic won't prevent a SCO from suing you, but nothing
will.  If you fear the SCOs of the world you won't do anything at all;
you'll be paralyzed with fear, especially in the US where anyone can sue
anyone else for any reason, no matter how preposterous.)

 - Jon

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