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


That conversation is just getting insane... What is legal in one country may be illegal in other countries and so on and so forth and we just come back to the 1960's (yeah, most of you had not been born). For those of you (including lawyers) who thinks that the Vietnam War was that war won by Rambo (aka Silvester Stallone) killing dozens (thousands) of "bad communist oriental people", I had some bad news: this discussion about "open software" dates from that time. In 46 years of discussion, we see again and again the same arguments. But the fact that remains is that nobody in the bloody hell of planet earth can make a patent out of an unrealized idea... I patent devices. I patent a device that decodes some code. I can't patent the code itself. I can't patent an idea... The code may, as far as I know, be "copyrighted" to the author who wrote it and he can sell it tho others. Like a book.

If writers behave the same way, nothing would have been written since ... well ... perhaps the greeks some 400 years BC. It is obvious that every new code will have something "borrowed" from previous code. That is called evolution.

I heard the same kind of discussion when network was at its beginings... Most of you were in the kindergarden. Oh... yeah... OSI will triumph against Ethernet because it is a set of completely free and openly defined protocols. Ethernet is closed, proprietary and evil defined. Hey... just take a look on SNMP and its evil peculiarities... while CMIS and CMIP is free... OSI handles much better industrial environments with lots of non-stochastic networks (field-bus/token-rings), the FTAM for interconection in industrial environments... Little of that survives today... What we see is Ethernet V4, SNMP V4/V6 and so on ans so forth...

I heard the same kind of discussion when PCs started to be manufactured around the world... About patents held by IBM. Any of you believe that RPOC payed any royalty to IBM? I do much doubt... not to mention lots of latin american countries...

I heard people saying (perhaps you were at high school) that *NUX would never go ahead because it was owned by Digital, that became Compaq, that became HP. And yes, there are people still issuing M$ and other vendors (Sun, Apple, etc) because the "original idea of Windows" belonged to Xerox Vista.

To be issued, you just must be alive and someone else think you looked at him in strange way...

Anyways, if this discussion about legal/illegal does not move to a forum focused in laws and litigation, I do think that it will be a dead end for all of us...



PS: sorry to be writting again, but it just ... off when you have to delete dozens of crazy messages.

Leszek Matok escreveu:
Dnia 05-04-2006, śro o godzinie 13:05 -0400, Horst von Brand napisał(a):
How do you know it hasn't been tried? In any case, what info is out there
on the matter clearly indicates the people in control of the license will
/never/ agree on an open-source version, so the point is more than moot.
It doesn't have to be open-source, it simply has to be legal. Fluendo
with gstreamer and Totem are perfectly legal (they paid Thomson the
money), the only problem are GPL apps linked to gstreamer (linking at
run-time with proprietary things, even via a stack of LGPL modules,
violates the GPL). It IS the matter of distribution then. You can make a
separate yum repository for perfectly legal MP3 gstreamer plugin
(Fluendo will give you a licence for free and it's their responsibility
for it to be legal - you're not making Fedora more prosecution-prone),
only it has to conflict with Rhythmbox for example. It's still possible
to make a program ESR was writing about (popup asks if you want to
enable this plugin repository in your yum.repos.d/file, then tells you
"in order to play this file you have to install XXX, but this will
remove YYY from your system" - yum can tell it to you).

The only problem I could see here would be some dependency specific to
Fedora that would force the presence of some GPL-licensed and
gst-enabled program in my system. This could probably be fixed somehow.


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