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Re: [fab] Fwd: Mono and FC

On Sunday 05 November 2006 09:56, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> 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

I'm also personally concerned about the dangers of tainting.  If MSFT folks 
are contributing to the Mono code that Novell uses, they have no worry 
because Novell and Microsoft have a pact.  However if say a Red Hat employee 
looks at the source code, does that employee then become tainted by the 
Microsoft code?  Is not anything that employee does that is related come 
under danger of Microsoft litigation?  It is something I would like to avoid 
all together.

If we could get upstream gnome to boot mono to the curb, I would follow suite 
with Fedora, sending a clear message that we have NO INTEREST in 
Novell+Microsoft tainted products.  Sure, immediately we lose things like 
beagle, f-spot, and tomboy, surely replacements can be written in non BOO 
SCARY code...  We could send the message that says "we don't care about 
protection from Microsoft for this software, because we don't care about that 
software, see we're using something better, safer, cheaper, and the community 
is with us."

Jesse Keating
Release Engineer: Fedora

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