[linux-elitists] [Opensim-dev] Mono considered harmful

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sat Apr 4 08:44:08 PDT 2009


Quoting Eugen Leitl (eugen at leitl.org):

> IANAL, does below explanation by Adam hold water?

You don't have to be a lawyer to know that it's rubbish on two separate
grounds.

Yes, C# is an ECMA standard.  However: 

(1) It doesn't follow that ECMA International has any power to "forbid"
patent holders from suing anyone over anything, let alone patent
infringement.  I mean, think about it:  Does Adam think ECMA
International is Microsoft Corporation's daddy?  That it owns 51% of the
issued and outstanding common stock?  At worst, it might be possible for
ECMA International to be very deeply disappointed in Microsoft's
behaviour at some future point, decertify particular things, and
otherwise carry out mild actions that _are_ within its power.

More important:

(2) In any event, ECMA International does not even _profess_ to
disapprove of suing patent infringers.  It merely has a "Code of Conduct
in Patent Matters"
(http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/codeofconduct.htm), setting
ECMA policy that the group will approve standards only if it has written
assurances from applicant that applicable patents will be licensed on a
"reasonable, non-discriminatory basis".  (That term of art is typically
referred to as RAND terms.)  

Has Adam Frisby completely missed the last decade of standards warfare?
The proprietary camp has repeatedly attempted to get the World Wide Web
Consortium to start accepting "RAND" patent licensing, instead of
requiring that applicants certify that covering patents will be
_royalty-free_.  This arm-twisting failed, because of diligent focussing
of attention from open source people.  W3C has stuck to its guns and
insistend on royalty-free patent licensing.

To spell it out:  "Reasonable" means obligatory patent royalty payments.
Which means no open source implementations of those standards.

And that is one reason why ECMA standards can be (and often are) issued
on terms hostile to open source, whereas W3C standards are reliable and
open-source-friendly.

Sheesh.

-- 
Cheers,              Híggledy-pìggledy / XML programmers
Rick Moen            Try to escape those / I-eighteen-N woes;
rick at linuxmafia.com  Incontrovertibly / What we need more of is
McQ!  (4x80)         Unicode weenies and / François Yergeaus.


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