Getting mono into FC extras

Paul paul at
Sat Mar 19 14:05:54 UTC 2005


> >I've taken the time to read over the reasoning behind not allowing (yet)
> >Mono into FC Extras, but I have a bit of a problem with it.

> There is no conspiracy against Mono. Mono is legally ambigious. A post
> to a mailing list does NOT consist of a legally binding patent grant of
> any sort. You cannot use the "well, you have other legally ambigious
> things" as grounds for inclusion.

AIUI, MS have said that people can use the .NET framework without any
sort of restriction - which includes on non MS platforms. By virtue of
them not having taken *any* action against *any* of the open source
implementations of .NET (and face it, if they were going to take any
action, it would have been against Ximian as they were a much smaller
company than before Novell chomped them up) and have actually be
incredibly open by anyone's standard with ECMA on the publication of the
standard (which is something Sun still are to do properly for Java) as
well as the other "legally ambigious" material in FC (such as the gcj
stuff - you can't say that it cannot be used as an argument for
inclusion if you already have something which does just that), the
arguments against Mono really don't hold that much water.

Of course, IANAL or ever claim to be.

> If you know of a package in Fedora Core or Extras that is violating its
> license, or various laws (specifically, US laws), point it out, and
> we'll check it out through Red Hat Legal.

gcj and if MS's latest patent application goes through, OpenOffice. (MS
are trying to patent XML!). If the people who look after the kernel and
their report are is to believed, the kernel (isn't it supposed to
infringe quite possibly on 100 or so patents?)

> If you care about Mono, there is a way to get it included:
> Get a patent grant from Microsoft, in writing, that says that they
> permit unrestricted use and redistribution of their patents in Mono.
> Now think for just a second. If Microsoft really wanted people to use
> Mono, wouldn't they have done this already? They have an army of
> lawyers, who undoubtedly understand the GPL all too well. They have to
> be aware that such a patent grant would be required for Mono to be legal
> under the GPL. They have yet to do this.

True. Yet as I've said, they have yet to do anything about it, nor do I
think they ever will. MS don't accept the GPL as a licence and probably
never will (despite numerous claims that GPL code is used within their
vastly inferior product line).

Why they haven't said "go ahead and do it", I have no idea. Probably for
the same reason why they've never stopped Gnumeric/OpenOffice or
Abiword/OpenOffice from being able to manipulate their proprietory file

> If and when Microsoft does this (or Thomson, in the case of Mp3), we
> will revisit the acceptance of Mono into FE. However, until that time,
> the issue is closed. We cannot and will not willingly infringe upon
> patents.

Which is fair enough. I've always had a bone about FC not including mp3
and DVD facilities, but accepted it. What will be interesting is how FC
does things if the EU patent laws come in - basically, very little can
be done.


"It is often said that something cannot be libel if it is the truth.
This has had to be amended to 'something cannot be libel if it is the
truth or if the bank balance says otherwise'" - US Today
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