[Mono-list] Legal status of Mono

Rusty rustydstone@yahoo.com
Mon, 29 Jul 2002 18:32:35 -0700 (PDT)


As it was suggested by some people, Iíve read the FAQ (again) and
searched the archives for related materials. The following is the
summary of what I was able to find:

1) Bigger part of .Net is MSís proprietary intellectual property (IP),
which is not covered by any standards and is protected by MSís patents
and copyright.

2) Mono was trying to get the list of patents that MS owns with
reference to .Net but that list could not be obtained. As a result, it
not known what patents MS hold with reference to .Net.

3) MS warned Mono not to infringe on its IP.

4) MS can sue (and/or threaten to sue) Mono and anyone who uses Mono if
MSís IP is infringed upon

5) MS does not Ďlikeí Linux and Open Source:

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO: 
  "Linux Is Top Threat To Windows" 
  "[Linux is] a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual-property
sense to everything it touches." 

Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Group VP (Windows OS chief) 
  "Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer, I can't imagine
something that could be worse than this for the software business and
the intellectual-property business."

6) At any time MS can introduce a new patented feature into the
standardized part of .Net to make any implementation, including Mono,
to be incompatible with the one provided by MS.

7) MS has recently introduced a new, patented feature into SAMBA,
potentially making any future open source implementations of SAMBA
impossible (without infringing on MSís patent that is).

8) Recent changes to the Mono license allow MS to hijack certain parts
of Mono, if so desired.

With reference to the above:
1) Has Mono consulted with a competent legal advisor to make sure that
it does not *currently* infringe on MSís IP?

2) How does Mono plan to ensure that MS does not introduce a new,
patented feature into the standardized part of .Net, which would make
Mono implementation incompatible with one by MS?

3) How does Mono plan to implement the bigger portion of .Net that is
not covered by the standard and is protected by MSís patents and

4) What options will Mono users have if Mono is sued and then shutdown
by MS?

PS: For simplicity, Iím using term Mono all over the place. It should
be clear though that MS cannot, e.g., sue the Ďprojectí, threfore the
company, the users, the people etc. are meant instead of Mono where


--- Paolo Molaro <lupus@ximian.com> wrote:
> On 07/29/02 Guenther Roith wrote:
> > What I thought about a while ago:
> > Can MS patent fundamental things like the IL code??
> > 
> > If they have patents on, let's say something in the class lib, it's
> not a
> > _big_ problem.
> > But if basic things like IL is patented...
> > 
> > Anybody, who knows something about this topic?
> Anything in IL is already covered by prior art since possibly
> decades.
> The paragraph in the FAQ above the one I posted covers the issue,
> read the FAQ.
> lupus
> -- 
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