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Re: Red Hat's "Cowardice" against Software Patents



On Tue, 2006-04-04 at 11:05 -0400, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> Warren Togami <wtogami redhat com>:
> > The actions and resources Red Hat uses to fight software patents and
> > protect the future of FOSS is "corporate cowardice"?
> 
> No, but refusing to carry MP3 decoders when there is no patent block
> on them is. 
> 
> Whether there is such a patent block or not has been disputed.  I
> originally believed not, persons on this list have claimed there is,
> the person who made the "corporate cowardice" accusation says they're
> full of crap and suggests that I challenge them to produce a patent
> number.  I think he's making an unrealistic demand -- but it is a fact
> that SUSe carries encoders.  If SUSe can do it, why not Red Hat or
> Fedora?

Hi Eric,

Either there are valid (or likely to prove valid if challenged) patent
claims or there aren't.  If you don't know, then please get off your
terminal and do some actual research (eg. schedule time with a credible
patent attorney, ask the patent holders what license terms they would be
willing to discuss, etc.) before making any claims.  Without any
substantial insight into the legal status and/or the licensing terms
(and for you this seems to be the case), your musings on this topic are
all noise and no signal.

Ed

ps - Yes, we're all certain that the lawyers at SuSE/Novell, Red Hat, 
     and other Linux-distributing companies have reviewed the issue.
     You must also be aware that these companies do not owe you (or 
     any other third parties) detailed explanations of their legal 
     opinions and/or strategies.  So, you really need to do (at least 
     a little) research before challenging folks.


-- 
Edward H. Hill III, PhD
office:  MIT Dept. of EAPS;  Rm 54-1424;  77 Massachusetts Ave.
             Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
emails:  eh3 mit edu                ed eh3 com
URLs:    http://web.mit.edu/eh3/    http://eh3.com/
phone:   617-253-0098
fax:     617-253-4464


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