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

10.20.09

Mono, Open Core, and Other Bizarre Forms of Open Source

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Patents, SUN at 5:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple core
Free software is not the same as open core

Summary: Why Mono fits the description of Open Core, which may make it “the New Shareware”

A LOT has been said since Samba’s Jeremy Allison published his opinion about Mono [1, 2, 3, 4]. Jason from the Mono-Nono Web site got around to commenting about it and worth mentioning are the following bits:

In any case, I first started noticing Mr. Allison’s responses directly addressing the fallacy of comparing Mono and Samba in the comments to an error-filled attack rant against RMS by Jason Perlow for ZD Net. Although it is certainly “pearls before swine” to attempt to correct Mr. Perlow, Mr. Allison does make his point:

Comparing Mono to Samba is incorrect. Samba has the PFIF agreements, see here for details:

http://www.samba.org/samba/PFIF/PFIF_agreement.html

To my knowledge Mono has nothing like this.

[...]

Mr. Allison has now taken the time to address Mono in more detail with a blog entry “Monomania“. I encourage you to read it.

I also encourage you to consider all the hoops that Team Mono insists critics people must jump through to criticize Mono, and how Mr. Allison surely meets or exceeds all that I have seen. Yet, I do not see Team Mono accepting his criticism, nor do I see my mailbox filling with acknowledgement that it’s not just crazy zealots that have a problem with Mono.

Why am I not seeing these things? Because Mono apologists are not honest in their arguments. They like Mono, and will make any argument they think supports it, and ignore or attack anything that they think weakens it.

It’s a song I’ve sung many times, and this latest wrinkle on Mono == Samba is just one more example of the sloppy reasoning and poor logic behind Team Mono’s defenses.

What’s interesting about Mono is that, as the FSF warned, it is divided into “legal” parts (core) and “illegal” parts (those that require Microsoft software patents, such that only Novell customers are covered). It makes Mono very much akin to “open core” rather than “open source”. For those who have not followed the heated debate about “open core”, Bradley Kuhn from the SFLC calls it “the New Shareware” and Simon Phipps from Sun Microsystems commented about it as follows:

Bradley Kuhn’s analysis reflects the same conclusions I’ve reached myself about corporate-aggregated copyright. That’s not to say it automatically disqualifies a project as non-Free, but it’s the reason I included “diverse copyright ownership” as a criterion on the proposed open source scorecard. As a side-note, Given Bradley’s critique of the GPL as “just a tool”, surely it’s time to see that open source is not the enemy of software freedom and to finally cut the antagonistic rhetoric.

Is it time to say that Mono uses the “open core” model, where only “core” packages are to be seen as legal or gratis? Banshee, for example, is a Novell project that uses some Mono parts that require patents.

“The patent danger to Mono comes from patents we know Microsoft has, on libraries which are outside the C# spec and thus not covered by any promise not to sue. In effect, Microsoft has designed in boobytraps for us.

“Indeed, every large program implements lots of ideas that are patented. Indeed, there’s no way to avoid this danger. But that’s no reason to put our head inside Microsoft’s jaws.”

Richard Stallman, 2007

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

  • FSDaily

What Else is New


  1. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism<



  2. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  3. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  4. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  5. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  6. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  7. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  8. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  9. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  10. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  11. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  12. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  13. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  14. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  15. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  16. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  17. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  18. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  19. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  20. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness



  21. Bill Gates' God Complex: Common Core a One-Man Campaign of Greed and Control

    The push for Common Core is overwhelmingly dominated by Bill Gates, who intimidates and even resorts to retribution against critics while bribing those who help him accomplish the goal of privatised (for his private profit) indoctrination in US schools



  22. Bill Gates Investments Harm the World, Not Improve the World, Based on New Exclusive Piece of Investigative Journalism at The Nation

    The Gates Foundation's profiteering efforts and lack of ethics outlined in a new report that many sites around the Web find fascinating and mostly irrefutable



  23. Links 3/9/2014: Android Gadgets, New Tails OS

    Links for the day



  24. Linus Torvalds DebConf Talk

    Torvalds' latest talk which got media attention earlier this month



  25. Microsoft Should Not be Considered Too Big to Jail

    Microsoft continues to use dumping as a strategy which revolves around starving the competition, not beating the competition



  26. Pro-Software Patents Voices Finally Acknowledge the Demise of Software Patents in the United States

    A milestone is reached as even the most zealous supporters of patents on algorithms (or computer-implemented inventions, or software patents) are admitting that the era of software patents may be over



  27. New Lies About Microsoft 'Privacy' and New FUD Against the GPL Comes From 'Former' Microsoft Staff at Black Duck

    More AstroTurfing by sites that are run by Microsoft MVPs and firms which were created by people from Microsoft



  28. Links 2/9/2014: GNU/Linux in BBC, Calls Against systemd

    Links for the day



  29. Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    Links for the day



  30. Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

    Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)


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