[linux-elitists] FAT is the new GIF?

Jason Spence jspence@lightconsulting.com
Thu Feb 26 17:57:50 PST 2009

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 01:13:09AM +0000, Dave Crossland wrote: 
> 2009/2/27 Jason Spence <jspence@lightconsulting.com>:
> > On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 12:56:02AM +0000, Dave Crossland wrote:
> >> 2009/2/27 Jason Spence <jspence@lightconsulting.com>:
> >> > the only motivation I can think of would
> >> > be Microsoft demanding higher license fees for FAT implementations.
> >>
> >> Maybe I've misunderstood the lawsuit, but er, isn't that what just started?
> >
> > [higher than] $250,000 per [distributor]
> Doesn't higher than $0 per distributor chill free software?

It depends.

A patent license is basically an agreement not to enforce your patent
claims against an infringing entity.  It's not a criminal action to
violate a patent (35 USC 271), so if you're some volunteer-run
distribution that's not making any money and don't have any
significant assets, it's probably a bad business decision for the
patent holder to try to squeeze blood from a stone.

Therefore, if you mean free-as-in-beer when you're talking about free
software, the chilling effect may be negated by the fact that it's
dumb for people to sue you for infringing.

But if you mean free-as-in-libre and you're collecting cash money,
yeah, there's probably going to be a chilling effect.  What form that
would take I don't know, because I can't fathom the major linux
distributions delibrately breaking interoperability with USB keys.

 - Jason                                   Last known location:

You will be divorced within a year.

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