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Old 12-23-2009, 05:46 PM
"Tom "spot" Callaway"
 
Default New covenant published

On 12/23/2009 01:38 PM, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> As the patent license is non-Free, Moonlight still has to be considered non-
> Free wherever software patents apply. So as far as I can tell, this is not
> acceptable for Fedora, sorry. (But of course spot and/or RH Legal will have
> the final word.)

Well, patent licenses don't necessarily have to be Free, not at least in
the way that we think of copyright licenses.

With that said, this new "covenant" does NOT change our stance on
Moonlight. It is still not permissible in Fedora.

~spot

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Old 12-23-2009, 05:56 PM
Alex Hudson
 
Default New covenant published

On 23/12/09 18:46, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:

With that said, this new "covenant" does NOT change our stance on
Moonlight. It is still not permissible in Fedora.



Can I ask on what grounds? Is the patent license insufficient, or is
there some other problem?


It's difficult to fix things if we don't know what's broken.

Thanks

Alex.

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Old 12-23-2009, 05:58 PM
"Tom "spot" Callaway"
 
Default New covenant published

On 12/23/2009 01:56 PM, Alex Hudson wrote:
> On 23/12/09 18:46, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
>> With that said, this new "covenant" does NOT change our stance on
>> Moonlight. It is still not permissible in Fedora.
>>
>
> Can I ask on what grounds? Is the patent license insufficient, or is
> there some other problem?
>
> It's difficult to fix things if we don't know what's broken.

The most obvious issue is that it does not cover Distributors besides
Novell.

~spot

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Old 12-23-2009, 06:10 PM
Alex Hudson
 
Default New covenant published

On 23/12/09 18:58, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:

On 12/23/2009 01:56 PM, Alex Hudson wrote:


Can I ask on what grounds? Is the patent license insufficient, or is
there some other problem?

It's difficult to fix things if we don't know what's broken.


The most obvious issue is that it does not cover Distributors besides
Novell.



I thought that was the whole reason a new covenant has been issued, so
that people other than Novell could distribute it. Looking over it, I
don't really see where any distinction between Novell and anyone else is
made.


It would be useful to have some response from legal people about the
exact issues which remain. It seems to me highly unlikely that problems
are going to be resolved unless the problems are made clear; and the
movement on this issue appears to be in the right direction.


I realise a number of people don't care for Mono-related technologies,
but it would be sad to see Fedora left out in the cold for this stuff.


Cheers

Alex.

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Old 12-23-2009, 06:22 PM
"Tom "spot" Callaway"
 
Default New covenant published

On 12/23/2009 02:10 PM, Alex Hudson wrote:
> On 23/12/09 18:58, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
>> On 12/23/2009 01:56 PM, Alex Hudson wrote:
>>
>>> Can I ask on what grounds? Is the patent license insufficient, or is
>>> there some other problem?
>>>
>>> It's difficult to fix things if we don't know what's broken.
>>>
>> The most obvious issue is that it does not cover Distributors besides
>> Novell.
>>
>
> I thought that was the whole reason a new covenant has been issued, so
> that people other than Novell could distribute it. Looking over it, I
> don't really see where any distinction between Novell and anyone else is
> made.

The new "covenant" is specifically worded to apply only to end-users,
and makes the following noteworthy distinction:

"an entity or individual cannot qualify both as an End User and a
Distributor for use of the same copy of a Moonlight Implementation."

It grants no patent rights to Distributors, aside from those already
granted to Novell in the previous covenant. What it practically means is
that once you distribute, you stop being considered an "End User" by
Microsoft, and are no longer protected by this "covenant" (unless you're
Novell or Microsoft).

> It would be useful to have some response from legal people about the
> exact issues which remain. It seems to me highly unlikely that problems
> are going to be resolved unless the problems are made clear; and the
> movement on this issue appears to be in the right direction.

It is very very unlikely (I'll go so far as to say impossible) for any
Red Hat Legal people to discuss this issue in unprivileged forums.
Lawyers rarely like going on the record, especially when patent concerns
are involved, because any statements that they make in public could be
used later to reflect varying degrees of intent in a patent trial,
triggering possible issues such as treble damages.

I would encourage interested parties to review Rob Tiller's slides from
SCALE 7x, to gain a better understanding of the complexities and risks
around software patents:

http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/scale7x/conference-info/speakers/rob-tiller
http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/scale7x-audio/Saturday/TrackA/Talk%235RobTiller.mp3

(Yes, the irony of a talk on software patents being offered in MP3
format is not lost on me.)

If Microsoft was serious about encouraging adoption of the
Silverlight/Moonlight technology in FOSS, they would do so with an
unrestricted patent grant for all end-users and distributors for code
under any FOSS license (not just some).

They are clearly unwilling to do that.

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Old 12-23-2009, 06:29 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default New covenant published

On 12/24/2009 12:52 AM, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:

>
> It grants no patent rights to Distributors, aside from those already
> granted to Novell in the previous covenant. What it practically means is
> that once you distribute, you stop being considered an "End User" by
> Microsoft, and are no longer protected by this "covenant" (unless you're
> Novell or Microsoft).

This means, when you copy SUSE CD and give it a friend, you are not
covered under this covenant either? That's... interesting.

Rahul

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Old 12-23-2009, 07:04 PM
Michael Cronenworth
 
Default New covenant published

Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:

(Yes, the irony of a talk on software patents being offered in MP3
format is not lost on me.)



Just think... one more year... one more year...

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Old 12-23-2009, 07:34 PM
Chris Adams
 
Default New covenant published

Once upon a time, Michael Cronenworth <mike@cchtml.com> said:
> Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> >(Yes, the irony of a talk on software patents being offered in MP3
> >format is not lost on me.)
>
> Just think... one more year... one more year...

It doesn't look like that is the case:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mp3#Licensing_and_patent_issues
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:MP3#Patents

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I don't speak for anybody but myself - that's enough trouble.

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Old 12-23-2009, 08:00 PM
Alan Milnes
 
Default New covenant published

2009/12/23 Alex Hudson <fedora@alexhudson.com>:

> I realise a number of people don't care for Mono-related technologies, but
> it would be sad to see Fedora left out in the cold for this stuff.

Actually it makes me very *happy* to have a distro untainted by this stuff.

Never forget their MO:- Embrace - Extend - Extinguish

Alan

All thoughts are my own

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Old 12-23-2009, 08:14 PM
Sir Gallantmon
 
Default New covenant published

On Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 3:00 PM, Alan Milnes <asm@linux.com> wrote:

2009/12/23 Alex Hudson <fedora@alexhudson.com>:



> I realise a number of people don't care for Mono-related technologies, but

> it would be sad to see Fedora left out in the cold for this stuff.



Actually it makes me very *happy* to have a distro untainted by this stuff.



Never forget their MO:- *Embrace - Extend - Extinguish



Alan



All thoughts are my own



Then I guess we shouldn't have AJAX either, since Microsoft developed one of the core technologies behind AJAX.
Their MO may be Embrace, Extend, Extinguish, but they are not in a landscape where they can do that without severe backlash. We get angry a lot over Linux FUD, but that doesn't mean you are given the right to spread FUD against Microsoft too.

Mono is based on an open standard, a standard that is being updated periodically too. The parts that aren't part of the standard can easily be placed in separate packages and not installed, if you are really concerned about it.

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