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Thread: A quick question on software patents...

  1. #1
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    A quick question on software patents...

    Why is it that the software patents ghost is strong enough to prevent us all from having mp3 and DVD playback available after installing ubuntu, yet it is not as scary when we talk about Mono?

    I mean, really, why is it Canonical does not mind risking a law suit when the thing in question is something that we don't really need (unless that silly notes software is necessary for you?) While that thing that ubuntu, being a desktop OS, needs so hardly, mp3 playback is not installed by default?

    Have you ever seen a person complain about windows not having a desktop notes software by default? Now, have you ever seen users complaining about ubuntu not having mp3 playback?

    In other words, couldn't we just have mp3 as easily as we have Mono? Or in the other side of the coin, shouldn't Mono be as hard to install as mp3 is? Shouldn't it be in a restrictive repository?

    For example, Fedora 10 does not ship with Mono installed [1]

    And yes, the establishment shall feel free to move this post to recurring discussions so people don't look at it.
    Xye incredibly difficult puzzle game with minimal graphics. Also at playdeb
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  2. #2
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    Re: A quick question on software patents...

    ** standard "I am not a lawyer" disclaimer **

    patents are granted on specific processes within a product

    If I create a new audio encoding algorithm, I could patent the process by which I encode PCM
    but I can't patent "audio encoding" in general

    the key here, is "specific process"

    .NET is (by and large) not a specific process, but rather a specification (indeed, I believe it's ISO now)

    It is possible to implement .NET without running afoul of potential patents

    However, the problem people have with Mono is two-fold

    1.) Different countries treat software patents differently (most do not recognise them, but some - notably the USA - do) so you introduce regional problems

    2.) as stated above ".NET is (by and large) not a specific process" - If Linux devs were to stray into Windows specific parts of .NET, there may be cause to make a claim, as this could be tied back to a specific process

  3. #3
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    Re: A quick question on software patents...

    Software patents are BS, period.

  4. #4
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    Re: A quick question on software patents...

    Quote Originally Posted by mips View Post
    Software patents are BS, period.
    oh, agreed

  5. #5
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    Re: A quick question on software patents...

    Quote Originally Posted by vexorian View Post
    Why is it that the software patents ghost is strong enough to prevent us all from having mp3 and DVD playback available after installing ubuntu, yet it is not as scary when we talk about Mono?

    I mean, really, why is it Canonical does not mind risking a law suit when the thing in question is something that we don't really need (unless that silly notes software is necessary for you?) While that thing that ubuntu, being a desktop OS, needs so hardly, mp3 playback is not installed by default?

    Have you ever seen a person complain about windows not having a desktop notes software by default? Now, have you ever seen users complaining about ubuntu not having mp3 playback?

    In other words, couldn't we just have mp3 as easily as we have Mono? Or in the other side of the coin, shouldn't Mono be as hard to install as mp3 is? Shouldn't it be in a restrictive repository?

    For example, Fedora 10 does not ship with Mono installed [1]

    And yes, the establishment shall feel free to move this post to recurring discussions so people don't look at it.
    Because mono is sponsored by microsoft (they have full acces to MS's test profiles and documentation, and AFAIK, MS has even written some of the code )

  6. #6
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    Re: A quick question on software patents...

    Quote Originally Posted by eragon100 View Post
    Because mono is sponsored by microsoft (they have full acces to MS's test profiles and documentation, and AFAIK, MS has even written some of the code )
    Mono isn't "sponsored" by Microsoft, they just help out due to the Novell-Microsoft deal. See? It isn't so bad.

  7. #7
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    Re: A quick question on software patents...

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant A. View Post
    Mono isn't "sponsored" by Microsoft, they just help out due to the Novell-Microsoft deal. See? It isn't so bad.
    It is sponsored to the point where Microsoft acknowledges Mono's existence and will treat it as a legitimate program.

  8. #8
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    Re: A quick question on software patents...

    I dont see the point in having Mono installed by default, and I dont see why mp3 shouldnt be included, given that patents shouldve expired by now.

    But for protected DVD-Playback you have to deal with encrypted data, which is the DVDs copyprotection. Decrypting it without license = circumventing copyprotection = illegal. It has nothing do to with patents.

  9. #9
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    Re: A quick question on software patents...

    Quote Originally Posted by Npl View Post
    I dont see the point in having Mono installed by default,
    In order to install F-Spot and Tomboy, considered the best choices in their class by the Desktop team, installed by default.

    Quote Originally Posted by vexorian View Post
    Why is it that the software patents ghost is strong enough to prevent us all from having mp3 and DVD playback available after installing ubuntu, yet it is not as scary when we talk about Mono?
    Because The owners of the DVD and MP3 patents make active legal threats against all & sundry (and even have SWAT teams perform raids during trade shows of people who haven't paid their patent bills)

    Conversely, there have been no specific or general threats made to anyone regarding patent violation in Mono. If that ever happens, and the supposedly infringing code can't be changed, then it's out of the archive, simple as that. Same goes for anything and everything in the archive - specific substantiated legal threats will lead to workaround-or-removal
    Last edited by directhex; November 16th, 2008 at 02:05 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: A quick question on software patents...

    Quote Originally Posted by directhex View Post
    In order to install F-Spot and Tomboy, considered the best choices in their class by the Desktop team, installed by default.
    I often wonder why, but that's a question for another day.

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