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Re: [fab] Fwd: Mono and FC



Paul W. Frields wrote:

I'm not sure I understand how this is a real concern.  The OIN owns the
patents on OpenOffice.org (at least v2.0.0) and I don't see what
Novell's potential "backing" would achieve either way.  I wonder how
Novell would construct compatibility between OO.o and MS Office based on
this schema while simultaneously disallowing anyone else from using,
distributing, or shipping it in a non-actionable way without violating
the OO.o licensing.  I'm sure Microsoft's legal team has their best
minds working on it, though.


There seems to be a misunderstanding of how OIN works. If OIN holds some patents through Novell which could have discouraged others from suing OIN members including Red Hat, Novell's decision to independently grant the same patents rights to Microsoft effectively means that they have now reduced the strength of OIN. Novell's contribution of patents to OIN has been nullified from Microsoft's perspective.

GPL and LGPL licenses have a provision that is precisely meant to prevent such exclusionary "cross licensing" of patents which applies to Samba, Openoffice.org and parts of Mono which are components listed explicitly in the agreement. Apparently, what Novell and Microsoft has done to work around this license clause is sign a covenant not to sue each other that passes for the Novell customers using the Novell codebase as long as they have a active support contract with Novell.

There is also a very limited patent pledge for open source developers as long as they dont get paid for their work and dont distribute it to anyone at all. This is also revocable if you make on any patent offensive against Microsoft.

http://www.microsoft.com/interop/msnovellcollab/community.mspx#ESB

Rahul


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