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08.09.10

Groklaw Repeats Warning About Mono as a Patent Threat

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, SCO, UNIX at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nomo

Summary: The site better known for its dedication to copyright fights against the Microsoft-funded SCO is turning its attention also to patent fights against the Microsoft-funded Novell/Mono

GROKLAW continues to focus on the SCO case because SCO is still agitating IBM, despite SCO having no basis for the claims (let alone ownership of UNIX). Claims alone can be injurious.

SCO has filed a motion asking for a status conference in the SCO v. IBM litigation. It would like IBM to be blocked from pursuing its copyright counterclaims, while asking the court to let SCO go forward on its contract claims, which SCO now asserts are not affected by the loss it sustained in the SCO v. Novell litigation. That is a puzzling conclusion, in that Novell was ruled to have the unfettered right to waive any such alleged contract violations. And it did long ago do so.

The bankruptcy stay, SCO writes, applies only to litigation against SCO, not SCO suing “IBM and others”. Note that “and others”. So it would like the court to rule on SCO’s summary judgment motions filed years ago, and to the extent IBM has motions regarding two of SCO’s claims, regarding SCO’s claims for Unfair Competition and for Tortious Interference, they can go forward to a decision. But not the IBM counterclaims. Here’s a Groklaw chart of all the pending IBM and SCO summary judgment motions that were blocked by the SCO bankruptcy in 2007.

Groklaw — just like every Web site — gets attacked if it criticises Mono. Novell employees are sometimes behind such bullying of critics.

“[D]o something about Mono, please.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
In response to Red Hat’s announcement about contributions to GNOME [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], Pamela Jones mentioned just Mono. The press release says that “Red Hat serves as a member of the GNOME advisory board, in addition to Canonical, Collabora, Debian, Free Software Foundation, Google, IBM, Igalia, Intel, Motorola, Mozilla Foundation, Nokia, Novell, OLPC, Oracle and the Software Freedom Law Center.”

“In that case,” wrote Jones, “do something about Mono, please. Neary Consulting is Dave Neary’s company, and he was once on the board of Gnome. His view of patents was expressed about a year ago. Your lawyer would likely disagree, or at least mine would. Stormy Peters welcomes email from any community member.”

Luis A. Morán Morales told me over the weekend that “One needn’t be a developer to grasp dangers of #Mono trap. Seems distros fall for it in the popularity rat race.”

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, OpenSUSE was the first among prominent distributions to put Banshee in by default. Banshee is unique among Mono programs because it contains parts which fall outside the MCP, which means there is threat of lawsuits from Microsoft. Those who still upgrade to OpenSUSE 11.3 (especially the GNOME side of things) ought to be aware that OpenSUSE causes harm to GNOME. Novell is more immune to this threat, so it’s using Mono as a pesticide equivalent to which it has exclusive resistance. This mirrors Novell's broader strategy.

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