EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.03.07

Miguel de Icaza Talks About Novell, Mono, and Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 9:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

An interview has just been published where Miguel de Icaza speaks to the local Microsoft press. There are various bits that are worth mentioning, but recently we have been focused on the implications of using Mono. Here is what de Icaza had to say about patents:

Some people say the drawback to Mono is the saber rattling from Microsoft about patent, and that it doesn’t support the latest versions of .NET. What is your relationship like with Microsoft these days?

[de Icaza:] So, I have two positions, and one is speaking as the person managing the Mono team, and then there is another answer speaking as a Novell vice president. So from the position of the open source community — a position not attached to Novell — we as any other software project are aware that software patents are a problem. We don’t like them. We think they’re bad for the industry, but we know that we need to abide by that system. So we have a very strict policy, that we’ll not knowingly introduce patented code into the Mono code base. If somebody raises an issue with us about a patent, or that we’re infringing on their code base, we’ll be more than happy to either do an investigation to see if there’s prior art that will invalidate a patent claim, or basically re-implement the same functionality using a different approach. Or, if worse comes to worse, removing the code from Mono. And I think that’s pretty much the same rule that every open source project has to use.

“Whether Microsoft litigates or not, Mono introduces uncertainty”The patent system is defunct and there is no question about it, but stepping on Microsoft’s toes by mimicking the very same thing which they created is simply tactless. Whether Microsoft litigates or not, Mono introduces uncertainty. It’s easy to see why Microsoft will continue to support de Icaza’s work on Mono. As long as Novell’s desktop is becoming more assimilated to Windows (in terms of the underlying framework), the more solid Microsoft’s vacant claims will seem.

In the fragment above, de Icaza confirms that he has concerns about patents. Rather than dismissing the issue (as many of us do using valid arguments like “prior art”), de Icaza replicates Microsoft’s art. A ‘carbon copy’ imitation of the .NET framework is not even an ‘artistic’ matter with subjective interpretations. The goal and intent is to copy. Why approach these territories in the first place? Languages exist that are vendor-independent.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

6 Comments

  1. Sebastiaan Veld said,

    September 4, 2007 at 1:56 am

    Gravatar

    “Whether Microsoft litigates or not, Mono introduces uncertainty”
    So does projects like Samba then; imitate the SMB protocol, AD, authentication, printing, etc. Like it or not, that could also impose problems. One can just say patent infringement is not there, or neglect it at all, but either way with the current patent system in mind it may lead to legal problems for any company or project trying to extent or add functions to or with existing technology. So, you cannot blame Novell for the fact that that system exists and that they THINK about the fact that they may need to work around patent issues.

    “Rather than dismissing the issue (as many of us do using valid arguments like “prior art”), de Icaza replicates Microsoft’s art.’
    Well, that is really not what he says.

    “we have a very strict policy, that we’ll not knowingly introduce patented code into the Mono code base. If somebody raises an issue with us about a patent, or that we’re infringing on their code base, we’ll be more than happy to either do an investigation to see if there’s prior art that will invalidate a patent claim, or basically re-implement the same functionality using a different approach. Or, if worse comes to worse, removing the code from Mono.”
    He clearly states that they do not introduce patented code, if needed they work around, or worst case drop the code at all.

    “The goal and intent is to copy. Why approach these territories in the first place?”
    Well I think they do that for the same reason Samba (to take the same example) exists; interoperability. Or why does OpenOffice support .doc like extensions at all? The use of Mono allows Novell and other with one code base to support development on multiple OS’s. I’m not a developer, but I can see the advantage in that. Sure, there alternatives, but they may not fit one needs. Like any open source project I believe in the first place Mono is about having fun.

    If you like Novell’s and others moves or not, one should at least tell the truth.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 4, 2007 at 3:22 am

    Gravatar

    “Whether Microsoft litigates or not, Mono introduces uncertainty”
    So does projects like Samba then; imitate the SMB protocol, AD, authentication, printing, etc. Like it or not, that could also impose problems. One can just say patent infringement is not there, or neglect it at all, but either way with the current patent system in mind it may lead to legal problems for any company or project trying to extent or add functions to or with existing technology. So, you cannot blame Novell for the fact that that system exists and that they THINK about the fact that they may need to work around patent issues.

    What what Carla Schroder (tuxchick) said here. about Samba and some other of the projects.that reverse-engineer Microsoft’s proprietary technology.

    Regarding the rest, which makes a seemingly-sound argument, remember that programming, unlike extraction of data and communication, is something that can be achieved in a variety of ways.

    Let me think of an analogy for a moment…

    Okay, I have one bad analogy. Think about rails and about trains (it just happened to spring to mind because I’m listening to Midnight Train at the moment). Rails enable merely any train to its complete journey, but the use and evangelism of Mono is promotion of Mono-culture (as the name implies), i.e. let us all have just one type of train rather than concentrate on the rails, which should remain consistent.

  3. S.tephen said,

    September 4, 2007 at 3:32 am

    Gravatar

    You say…

    “but stepping on Microsoft’s toes by mimicking the very same thing which they created is simply tactless”

    …But clearly it’s not tactless. Rather it’s a very smart recognition by Mono, that the overwhelming population of developers/programmers/engineers are currently working on a Microsoft development platform (OS+SDK/.NET). Making Mono cross platform breaks the OS piece. The success of a platform is largely a function of it’s application developer community.

    By the way, your assertion that MONO CULTURE means one culture is incorrect. Mono was chosen because of the relationship to Ximian. Mono is the Spanish for monkey, therefore it’s monkey culture!

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 4, 2007 at 4:01 am

    Gravatar

    The success of a platform is largely a function of it’s application developer community.

    Yes, that’s the central point of this debate. It’s a bit chicken-and-egg. But then again, we are facing the same problem when it comes to accepting binary blobs. That’s how you end up with another Mac OS X, not GNU/Linux as it was intended to be.

    Mono is the Spanish for monkey, therefore it’s monkey culture!

    :-)

    Like the phrase goes, “monkey see, monkey do.” Mimicking the competition.

  5. John Drinkwater said,

    September 4, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    Gravatar

    ““Whether Microsoft litigates or not, Mono introduces uncertainty” So does projects like Samba then; imitate the SMB protocol”

    Microsoft haven’t made significant changes* to SMB, compared to IBM’s version of it, for Microsoft to have a case in litigation.

    *EU decided the changes weren’t substantial enough. Or did you miss that court outcome?

  6. Jose said,

    September 7, 2007 at 5:29 am

    Gravatar

    I think you read this from Miguel de Icaza where he claims that “OOXML is a superb standard” and that you (as a consumer/user/distributor of free software) are only safe from patent claims about mono/moonlight if you get them from Novell.

    Miguel is nothing more than PR spokesman, a lackey for Microsoft. A hypocrite.

    http://groups.google.com/group/tiraniaorg-blog-comments/browse_thread/thread/2a07b8b50038d8c8/2429b33859cf05c0#2429b33859cf05c0

What Else is New


  1. Bristows is Being Hammered With Negative Comments For Its Unitary Patent (UPC) Lies

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is practically dead in the UK and Ireland; Bristows, nevertheless, continues with its desperate spin



  2. Links 11/12/2017: Linux 4.15 RC3, Debian 8.10 and Debian 9.3

    Links for the day



  3. Judge Corcoran Turns to His Government for Help and EPO 'House Ban' is Finally Lifted

    Sources that are very reliable say that Patrick Corcoran is coming back to work, however it's now clear when and how long for



  4. Raw: Battistelli's Control/Domination Over the Boards of Appeal

    An old EPO document internally voicing concerns about the lack of independence at the Boards of Appeal



  5. Raw: Conflicts of Interest of EPO Vice-President

    An old EPO concern regarding structural collisions and mixed loyalties



  6. Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls Are Increasingly Active and Microsoft is Selling 'Protection' (Azure Subscriptions)

    There are several indications that Microsoft-connected shells, which produce no products and are threatening a large number of companies, are inadvertently if not intentionally helping Microsoft sell "indemnification" ("Azure IP Advantage," which echoes the Microsoft/Novell strategy for collecting what they called "patent royalties" one decade ago)



  7. Yes, RPost is Definitely a Patent Troll and Its Software Patents Are at Risk Thanks to Alice

    The latest whitewashing (or reputation-laundering) pieces from Watchtroll, which tries to justify patent-trolling activities with software patents, typically in the Eastern District of Texas



  8. The Latest Scams in the Patent World

    Examples of 'dirty laundry' of the patent microcosm, which it understandably does not like covering (as it harms confidence in their services/advice)



  9. Patents Are Becoming a Welfare System for the Rich and Powerful

    A culture of litigation and more recently the patenting of broad industry standards may mean that multi-billion dollar corporations are cashing in without lifting a finger



  10. Unlike the Mobile Domain, When it Comes to Cars Patent Lawsuits Remain Rare

    An optimistic note regarding the relatively low-temperature legal landscape surrounding advanced automobiles, even though patents are being amassed on software in that domain



  11. The Federal Circuit Rules (Again) in Favour of Section 101/Alice, Koch-Funded CPIP Tries to Overturn Alice at the Supreme Court

    The US Supreme Court's decision on Alice continues to have a profoundly positive impact (except for trolls) and Koch-funded academics try hard to compel the US Supreme Court to reverse/override Alice (so far to no avail)



  12. Next Director of the USPTO Parrots Talking Points of Patent Extremists and Their Lobbyists

    The next USPTO boss (still subject to official confirmation) may be little more than a power grab by the litigation and patenting 'industry', which prioritises not science and technology but its own bottom line



  13. Raw: Three Years for 'Justice' (to be Disregarded by Benoît Battistelli) at ILO and Over a Decade at the EPO

    The delays associated with ‘justice’ at the EPO (usually neither justice nor compliance with rulings) have become so extraordinary that immunity should long ago have been stripped off and Battistelli et al been held accountable



  14. Raw: Scuttling of the General Advisory Committee and Battistelli Stacking the Deck to Have 'Yes Men' as Representatives

    How the EPO broke down resistance to Battistelli’s oppressive policies not only at the Council, disciplinary committees and auditory divisions but also staff representation (symptomatic of Battistelli’s notion of justice)



  15. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board Will Endure Supreme Court Test and Overcome the Tribal Immunity “Scam”

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), based on the latest news, is still winning the argument and justifying its existence/importance



  16. Phones/Mobility (Trillion-Dollar Market) May Have Become Infested and Encumbered by Aggressive, Dying Companies

    The tough reality that new entrants/entrepreneurs are facing now that a few dying giants look to "monetise" their patents rather than create anything



  17. Links 9/12/2017: Mesa 17.3, Wine 3.0 RC1, New Debian Builds

    Links for the day



  18. Like the EPO, Taiwan/China (SIPO) Harm SMEs With a Policy of Patent Maximalism Which Fosters Litigation, Not Innovation

    A culture of patent maximalism breeds plenty of lawsuits in China (good for the legal ‘industry’), but small companies that are innovative lose focus and resources, just like in Europe where SMEs are discriminated against



  19. Bristows Continues to Lie About Unitary Patent (UPC) in Britain Only to Get Rebutted in Comments, As Usual (Criticism Not Deleted Yet)

    The latest wave of posts (typically from Bristows) which herald an arrival of UPC in Britain are not just delusional but also constitute terrible legal advice



  20. The European Union Now Repeats Paid Propaganda From the EPO (Regarding the Unitary Patent)

    The EPO's push for UPC, which has already involved payments to media and academia, is spreading to the EU, which unfortunately fails to uphold the Rule of Law and the spirit of the EPC



  21. European Media Covers the Latest EPO Scandal and the EPO's Refusal to Obey Orders of a Court

    European media is starting to catch up with the latest from ILO and the great importance not only of the rulings but also the EPO's response to these



  22. Antonius Tangena From the European Patent Institute (EPI) 'Aids' Željko Topić's Appointment at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An E-mail from Antonius (Tony) Tangena reveals a degree of coordination between the EPI and the EPO -- a potentially inappropriate action that can be seen as a cover-up attempt



  23. SUEPO Announces Protest, EPO Distracts From the Scandal, and Readers Spill the Beans

    Readers have sent some additional details regarding the EPO "backstory" that we wrote about this morning



  24. EPO Scandal Spills Over to Irish Media, So It's Time for the Backstory

    A lot more is being revealed by the media this week (regarding the EPO's "war on judges") and now that it's a more 'mainstream' subject we can shed light on the background to it



  25. Battistelli's EPO is Once Again Caught in Very Gross Violation of the European Patent Convention (EPC)

    The tyranny of the EPO is made abundantly clear for all to see -- ILO included -- but will there be consequences for repeated violations by Team Battistelli?



  26. Links 7/12/2017: Qt 5.10, ReactOS 0.4.7, Guix and GuixSD 0.14.0

    Links for the day



  27. Less Than 24 Hours Later the EPO Already Refuses to Obey Court Orders From ILO (Updated)

    As expected by realists (or pessimists), the EPO continues to act as though it's above the law and even judges suffer miscarriage of justice against them



  28. ILO Said Give the Judge His Job Back, But Christoph Ernst's Administrative Council Will Likely Let Him Go (Unemployed)

    Another potential EPO scandal in the making, as after waiting for 3 years the illegally-suspended judge might get his job back for only 3 weeks



  29. Watchtroll, AIPPI, Bristows and Others Keep Pushing Software Patents Agenda (in Spite of the Ban)

    Pressure groups and front groups of the patent microcosm (e.g. AIPPI) -- sometimes even the patent microcosm acting directly -- are still trying to make software patents legitimate, usually behind closed doors, e.g. in private events where only the patent microcosm can debate the subject (no software developers allowed)



  30. Meanwhile in Eponia, Tyrant Battistelli Must be Seeking Advice on How to Refuse to Obey Court's Orders (Again)

    People already speculate about how Battistelli will attempt to come up with excuses for noncompliance (and ongoing violation of the EPC as well as ILO code)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts