[Mono-list] Re: Sleepless at Patentland...

Reggie Burnett reggie@burnettconsulting.net
Thu, 9 Aug 2001 14:27:21 -0500

I haven't submitted any work to the Mono project but I have been following
the threads pretty closely.  It seems to me that this could actually
backfire on Microsoft for the same reason that some companies tend to not
use Open Source software:  there is no one to sue when things go bad.  Sure,
you might infringe on a patent but there is no corporate entity for MS to
tackle for remedies.  It would seem that the worst that could happen is an
order to stop distributing the infringing code and to reimplement using
non-patented techniques but then the damage has been done.  THe patented
technique has been distributed; the secrets (if there actually were any) are
out of the bag.

-----Original Message-----
From: mono-list-admin@ximian.com [mailto:mono-list-admin@ximian.com]On
Behalf Of A Rafael D Teixeira
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2001 12:44 PM
To: miguel@ximian.com
Cc: mono-list@ximian.com
Subject: Re: [Mono-list] Re: Sleepless at Patentland...

Thanks, Miguel

  I've read the article you pointed. But the problem I'm still worried is
about NOT KNOWING which patents we have to avoid.

  For example, suppose the Reflection.Emit mechanism is patented, and in
very general terms. We are using it in our compilers. We work hard, produce
usable compilers, publish it under GPL, and then get notified that we have
to settle with MS. We can go back to code and implement a traditional
back-end to generate IL. But MS can still reach to us, seeking financial
remedies, because "potentially" some people is using our first version,
because it's published in the Internet.

ENDNOTE 1: I agree with you, software patents MUST be abolished, or the
darkest sci-fi scenarios of corporate dictatorship can become a reality
sooner than expected, because software is embedded in nearly everything.

ENDNOTE 2: DMCA is a sour reminder of how misguided the US politicians are
about what is best for society. Corporations are important, but their rights
MUST be submitted to the needs of society and individuals.

Rafael Teixeira
Brazilian Developer

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