[Mono-list] Mono and Patents....

John Luke jluke@users.sourceforge.net
Fri, 12 Mar 2004 16:30:20 -0500


One thing is that the patent stuff has been discussed many times, the
archives will tell you more than I can.

On Fri, 2004-03-12 at 14:19 -0500, Andy Lewis wrote:

> Please forgive me as I am sure what I am asking has been discussed and 
> debated at length, and I do not mean this as a troll or as flame bait, 
> but I do have some questions not clearly answered in the FAQ or other 
> places on the site regarding the intellectual property underlying Mono. 
> I ma a developer, primarily Java these days, and I certainly acknowledge 
> that the CLI and related technologies offer some very cool 
> possibilities, but before jumping into using them, I want to clarify a 
> few things.
> First, regarding Mono licensing. It appears to be a mix of GPL, LGPL, 
> and X11 licenses. Does this combination allow me to develop commercial 
> applications using mono and distribute them using the "free" licenses, 
> provided that I am not distributed modified Mono libraries or 
> components, and only my own code is closed source? Or does that require 
> a different (non-free)  license?

My understanding is that as long as they are unmodified you should not
have a problem.  But you should read the licenses and perhaps consult
legal advice.  Keep in mind linking to GPL software by closed source
apps is not permitted, but that is not very well defined in a C# sense.

> Second, and more critically, I have a question about the Microsoft 
> patents(s) on the technology. I have read about this as much as I can 
> find, and I am assuming I am simply missing something. It appears to me 
> that the ECMA standard on which Mono is based, is also clearly covered 
> by at least one Microsoft patent. The ECMA rules require that such 
> patents be available for RAND licensing. In addition, there is the post 
> from jsmiller@microsoft.com - one of the patent inventors I believe, 
> that the agreement is that in this case the RAND patent licensing is 
> simply free (apparently both freedom and beer).

I believe that it was jointly submitted by Microsoft, HP, and Intel as
RAND and royalty-free ($0.00 cost). Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.
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