[OT] Mono politics [was: Re: Compile Mono]

"Terrell Prudé Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Mon May 19 07:32:20 UTC 2008

Mario Vukelic wrote:
> On Sun, 2008-05-18 at 21:48 -0400, "Terrell Prudé Jr." wrote:
>> Likewise, if/when Microsoft pulls out the patent or copyright nuke
>> against anything with Mono dependencies, and your favorite piece of
>> software goes bye-bye in the process, don't complain.
> As I noted elsewhere in this thread, MS already claims (unsubstantiated)
> patent violations in the kernel. Furthermore, given the state of the US
> "IP" laws, there is probably scarcely any software that does not violate
> patents. Thus, as Linus has written, it is best to ignore them.
> What exactly is supposed to be different with mono?
It's the far-too-cozy relationship with Microsoft that Novell (Miguel's
employer) has.  While many others have correctly noted that Microsoft
loves to try to spread "Be Very Afraid" patent FUD with respect to
Linux, OpenOffice.org, etc., the Mono case presents an especially easy
vector for MS to try an attack.  Since Miguel's in bed with Microsoft
now, along with his boss, Ron Hovsepian, there's this "collaboration"
deal that's very murky, which we understand to include development
collaboration to some (unspecified) degree. 

Therein lies the danger.  Microsoft would find it considerably easier to
"plant" or "get planted" their own copyrighted code into Mono than they
would with, say, dotGNU or Samba.  It'd only take a little bit.  Then,
MS would have a much easier time claiming copyright infringement, for
there'd be a "smoking gun."  This would give them "moral authority," in
the eyes of the press and (at least) the US government, for patent
lawsuits to begin.  This is the threat that Mono represents as it's
currently being done. 

If we want something that's .NET-compatible, then we'd be better off
adopting something like dotGNU for that reason.  Then we avoid the
potential Mono trap.

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