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. Links 30/8/2016: Fedora 24 Reviewed, Ubuntu Patched

    Links for the day



  2. Links 29/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC4, Maru OS Source Code

    Links for the day



  3. Let Them Eat Patents

    A reality check regarding software patents and regarding those who truly benefit from an expensive patent system with an even more expensive litigation process/proceedings



  4. Nothing Whatsoever Has Improved at the European Patent Office, It's Just Summer's Recess (and Silence)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has done absolutely nothing to improve the work atmosphere, it just alters the marketing strategy somewhat



  5. Links 28/8/2016: Q4OS 1.6, ConnochaetOS 14.2

    Links for the day



  6. The United States Has Gotten Over Software Patents

    A roundup of new articles about software patents in the United States, 2 years into the post-Alice era (the US Supreme Court deeming patents on software too abstract to have merit)



  7. More Lies From President Benoît Battistelli and the EPO Crisis Which Continues to Deepen

    The European Patent Office (EPO), collectively speaking, is still wrestling with a Battistelli infiltration (a circle of high-level managers) which habitually lies and viciously attacks those who dare counter these lies



  8. Links 27/8/2016: Torvalds and GPL, “DOD Must Embrace Open-Source Software”

    Links for the day



  9. Links 26/8/2016: Maru OS Resurfaces, Android More Reliable Than 'i' Things, PC-BSD Becomes TrueOS

    Links for the day



  10. Good Job, David Kappos, Says the 'Boss' (IBM)

    Responses to the latest call against Alice (eliminator of many software patents), courtesy of the man from IBM (still paid by IBM) who was responsible for the policy that blindly approved a lot of software patents in the US



  11. Being for Patent Quality or Against Patenting Excess Does Not Make You Anti-Patents

    Like IAM, which tries to portray sceptics and critics of software patents as "anti-patents", IP Watchdog (or Watchtroll as we call it) is 'trolling' the Electronic Frontier Foundation, simply because it expressed an opinion that patent maximalists cannot tolerate



  12. Erosion of Patent Quality Enables Patent Extortion With Large Portfolios of Low Validity Rate

    Revisiting the EPO's vision of poor patent examination and the effect of discriminatory granting practices, favouring patent bullies such as Microsoft (which actively attacks Linux using low-quality and usually pure software patents)



  13. The EPO's Francesco Zaccà Presenting in Turin Alongside Patent Trolls (Like the Patent Mafia Sisvel) and Lobbyists/Front Groups for Software Patents, UPC

    Benjamin Henrion (FFII) on seeing the EPO alongside patent trolls and other nefarious actors, doing what they do best, which is undermining public interests and harming patent quality



  14. The EPO, USPTO, and Patent Microcosm Peddle Myths About Patents in Public Universities and Research

    Tackling some of the commonly-spread myths about patents as "saving lives" and "promoting research" (in practice leading to the death of poor people and promoting trolls)



  15. Large Corporations' Lobbyist David Kappos Disgraces Former Employer USPTO by Meddling in Their Affairs on Software Patents, Downplaying the Supreme Court

    The latest lobbying from David Kappos, who blatantly exploits his connections in patent circles to promote software patents and work towards their resurgence after Alice v CLS Bank



  16. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Calls the European Patent Office “Rotten”, Other Sources Scrutinise Recent Moves

    The patent office which was once known for being the best bar none is rotting under the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli, who made himself and his friends the main clients of the Office



  17. PTAB Emerges as Hero of USPTO Because Quality of Patents Improves, Software Patents Are Effectively Dead (or Dying Once Reassessed)

    With help from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) -- not just patent courts -- software patents drop like flies by the thousands



  18. Creative Technology, Now Operating in 'Patent Troll' Mode, Shot Down by the ITC; Jawbone Too Shot Down

    Some good news from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which may have put an end to Creative's new war on Android (using old patents)



  19. Corporate Media in India Misrepresents Startups to Push for Software Patents

    A parade of misinformation as seen in Indian (but English-speaking) press this week as questions about patentability of software resurface



  20. Links 25/8/2016: Linux Turns 25, NetworkManager Turns 1.4

    Links for the day



  21. Links 24/8/2016: More From LinuxCon, Uganda Wants FOSS

    Links for the day



  22. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  23. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  24. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  25. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  26. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  27. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  28. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  29. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  30. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day


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