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

11.29.07

A Quick Look at Mono Licensing and Microsoft Licensing

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 3:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thanks to a couple of readers, who gave up a quick headsup on this issue, we believe that interesting new information is now available.

Curious bits about Mono licensing can be spotted in the Mono project Web site:

Why does Novell require a copyright assignment?

When a developer contributes code to the C# compiler or the Mono runtime engine, we require that the author grants Novell the right to relicense his/her contribution under other licensing terms.

This allows Novell to re-distribute the Mono source code to parties that might not want to use the GPL or LGPL versions of the code.

Particularly embedded system vendors obtain grants to the Mono runtime engine and modify it for their own purposes without having to release those changes back.

Patents

Could patents be used to completely disable Mono?

When .NET went Shared Source Miguel de Icaza talked about what it all meant. Looking at the Microsoft Reference License you find some very brow-raising phrases discussing software patents. Examples include:

(B) If you begin patent litigation against the Licensor over patents that you think may apply to the software (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit), your license to the software ends automatically.

IANAL, but nonetheless there’s something to watch out for here. We wrote about this before.

Another thing you may find suspicious is related to Novell’s copyright assignment, as mentioned above. From GNOME’s Web site, in the Evolution download page (at the bottom of the page): “Copyright © 2004-2007 Novell Inc.”

Remember that only weeks ago, Miguel de Icaza began speaking about Mono extensions for Evolution. Whatever you make out of this, all we do here is provide information.

From a discussion in Digg.com (initiated by accusations against the messenger)

Well, I actually question some of the newer parts of GNOME as well, like MONO.
They are truly constructing something that legitimizes the case for intellectual property infringement.

When some judge actually decides MONO is too much of a clone for a technilogical tool (this does not concern double-click style patents but true technology patents), the FUD due to that might back fire to all linux technology including those that are original.

If I were Microsoft i would be very happy with MONO. The trojan horse of the linux eco-system. Those actively promoting it on microsoft-sponsored-payroll (such as Novell), should have their loyalty questioned.

Richard Stallman actually wrote about this yesterday and even cited this Web site.


- ——– Original Message ——–
Subject: GNOME dependent on Mono
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 20:03:38 -0500
From: Richard Stallman rms [at] gnu.org
Reply-To: rms [at] gnu.org
To: foundation-list [at] gnome.org

I read http://boycottnovell.com/2007/11/05/gnome-mono-yelp/ with
great concern.

Since I am not an expert, I cannot tell on my own if that description
of the situation is accurate. If part of it is not accurate, I hope
someone will explain. However, if it is accurate, GNOME has a serious
problem.

I have always supported the development of free platforms for C#, just
as I’ve supported the development of free platforms for any language
that users use. I also wouldn’t argue that people should not use C#
with a free platform for secondary applications.

However, making GNOME depend on Mono is running a grave risk, and a
grave mistake. If the article accurately describes the situation, I
think we need to launch a high-priority project to reimplement Yelp in
some other language.

The use of code from Firefox in a way that might cause trademark
problems is also a serious issue. The solution might not be difficult
- — it may be enough to remove the trademark in the sources used by
GNOME wherever that is necessary — but the solution does need to be
carried out.

The nontechnical impact of these issues vastly exceeds the technical
impact, so considering them only in technical terms is fundamentally
misguided. In this sort of decision, the Foundation should intervene
and decide based on the nontechnical issues at stake. If those who
work for Novell tell us not to worry, we should not listen to them.


Given all the information which is presented here, how can one’s doubts be alleviated?

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

3 Comments

  1. werner said,

    November 30, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Gravatar

    I think: a) All this is not bad , but b) everybody should know it

    We should not be worried about any kind of COMERCIAL INTERESTS w.r.t. open software. Let the wolfs eat them each another.

    But we should know this, and stay far from any comercial or ‘property’ things in open source.

    It’s almost normal but OK that anybody who dance with the devil and use, directly or indirectly, any privat, no-open aplication, earlier or later is enrolled with any ‘patent rights’, ‘license terms’ or things like this.

    Thus, one simply should not participate to such privat or half-privat things, nor use them.

    It should also be observed, that patent rights – in opposite to copyrights – apply only to comercial concurrents. They are irrelevant for end-users. At least under european legislations, you can USE them as you want. Already because of this, is irrelevant the FUD by M$. In the worst case, they could process only sellers, but not users.

    The next thing is, that other states have the right of autonomy in their public administration and in the realisation of human rights (f.ex., ensign, social integration). They have even the right to declare the informatics, and the own development and divulgation of software for their administration, ensign etc as a public service and souvereignity function – in a few constitutions this is even the case – and divulge it (f.ex., give such open software to poor persons to realize the UNO’s resolution’s warrant to ensign, participation on the modernity, etc) This is not limited by patent rights of others. Not only because these are exclusively comercial rights, unaplicavel to no-comercial distribution, but because the economic rights always are submitted under higher rights, inclusive the government has the souvereignity to determine social function of economy etc. Now, the FUD by M$, when ‘advising not to use open source’ other country/people and their public service’s autonomy, human rights, is not only a right or even need for these countries to check / cancel their adherence to international patent / economic agreements; it can be a crime against public administration and souvereignity of other countries – especially when this ‘advices’ lead to fears or abstence the poor people or the officials use open software for realize their fundamental rights/ensign or public/administrative functions, resp. I think there is nothing to ‘give gratuitly’ to M$ and companions, so that is time that other counties open criminal processes against such ‘advises’.

  2. Uncle Warthog said,

    November 30, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Regarding Novell’s Mono copyright assignment terms: It strikes me as funny that they would expect anyone to contribute to Mono under those conditions considering that it is, by and large, this issue which is causing them to fork OpenOffice. Seems to me like Novell wants to have it both ways.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 30, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Gravatar

    On Groklaw, see OpenSuse developers pledge (at the bottom part of the article).

What Else is New


  1. EPO Crushed the Boards of Appeal (i.e. Quality Control) and Insiders Explain Why

    Team Battistelli has made a complete mockery of the EPO and also serves to devalue EPO patents, which in the long term can doom the whole system



  2. Academic Discussion About Patents' Harm and Good, Pushers of Software Patents Still Upset at Alice Decision

    In light of the Alice case, large monopolies and their messengers moan about patent quality control, whereas here in Manchester people have an open debate about the potential harms of over-patenting



  3. Links 30/7/2016: Sysadmin Day, Stardew Valley on GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  4. Links 29/7/2016: More Microsoft Problems and Layoffs, Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 Alpha Released

    Links for the day



  5. Links 28/7/2016: CORD as Linux Foundation Project, Wine 1.9.15 Released

    Links for the day



  6. EPO Loses More Than 80% of Cases at the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

    The International Labour Organisation (or Organization) helps show just to what degree the European Patent Office (EPO) violates the rights of workers



  7. To Understand What Battistelli Has Turned the EPO Into Look at Turkey and China

    Battistelli and his notorious Vice-President from SIPO (Croatia) turn the European Patent Office, once the pride of Europe, into a human rights cesspool with SIPO (China) connections



  8. Patent Lawyers Move Closer to Battistelli's Rubber-stamping Office While the Appeal Boards Pushed Away as Collective Punishment Which Masks Decline in Patent Quality

    Urgently sending appeal boards away and urgently granting applicants patents without proper examination will be Battistelli's sorrow legacy at the European Patent Office



  9. Software Patents a Dying Breed, But Patent Lawyers in Denial Over it and Notorious Judge Rodney Gilstrap Ignores Alice (Supreme Court)

    A look at what law and practice are saying about software patents, contrasted or contradicted by the patent industry and trolls-friendly courts (which make business out of or together with patent aggressors)



  10. CAFC Meddling in PTAB Affairs; Unified Patents Fights a Good Fight by Invalidating Software Patents

    A look at how the AIA's Patent Trial and Appeal Board is invalidating software patents post-Alice, with or without involvement of patent courts



  11. Early Certainty That Benoît Battistelli is Dangerously Clueless and a Major Risk to the EPO

    The chaos which Team Battistelli is assured to deliver if it doesn't treat scientists like scientists, instead viewing them as a production line with rubber-stamping duties



  12. OIN Makes Claims About “Open Source Innovation”, But It Produces Nothing and Protects Virtually Nobody

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) reports growth, but in practical terms it does little or nothing to help developers of Free/Open Source software



  13. Links 27/7/2016: New CrossOver, Blackmagic for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  14. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  15. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  16. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  17. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  18. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  19. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  20. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  21. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  22. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  23. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  24. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  25. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  26. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  27. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  28. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  29. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  30. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays


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