Verily I say unto thee, that Kari Laine spake thusly:
Be aware this also applies to "IP" licensed under so-called "RAND"
conditions (Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory). RAND is often used as
propaganda to fool people into believing the work is unencumbered, but
in reality the "Reasonable" of RAND actually refers to price, not
license. It simply means that if you license your "IP" under RAND
conditions, you must charge everyone the same price, and not
discriminate against e.g. your competitors by charging them more, or by
excluding them from access to your "IP" completely. This means small,
unfunded Free Software projects have no hope of ever using RAND licensed
software, unless it's /also/ made available royalty-free, and
royalty-free is /not/ a condition of RAND. It also means the resulting
Free Software is essentially undistributable, because the distributor
would be placing additional restrictions on the recipient, beyond the
terms of the GPL.
Also beware Microsoft's "Community Promise" a.k.a. "Covenant" to not sue
over "IP" in things like Mono, since that promise only extends to
"Covered Implementations". This makes existing implementations
dangerous, requiring professional auditing of the code to ensure
compliance, and future development is impossible, since it's pretty much
prohibited by definition, unless the "Covered Implementations" are
extended by the licensor to include those developments. Mono's creator,
Miguel de Icaza, has already been caught red-handed distributing
versions of Mono that breached those "Covered Implementations",
apparently without any idea he was even in violation.
Astute readers will point out that Mono contains much more than the ECMA
standards, and they will be correct.
In the next few months we will be working towards splitting the jumbo
Mono source code that includes ECMA + A lot more into two separate
source code distributions. One will be ECMA, the other will contain our
implementation of ASP.NET, ADO.NET, Winforms and others.
Depending on how you get Mono today, you might already have the this
split in house or not.
If Mono's creator can't even maintain ECMA compliance, how is any
contributor supposed to?
Patents apply to methods, not ideas or even results. If the same idea
can be used to procure the same result using a different method, then
you can avoid infringing the patent. Clean-room reverse engineering
facilitates this, by documenting the existing method, thus allowing
reimplementation using another.
K. | Ancient Chinese Proverb:
| "The road to Hell is paved with
Fedora 8 (Werewolf) on sky | ignorant twits who know nothing
kernel 184.108.40.206, up 28 days | about GNU/Linux."