EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.29.07

A Quick Look at Mono Licensing and Microsoft Licensing

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 3:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thanks to a couple of readers, who gave up a quick headsup on this issue, we believe that interesting new information is now available.

Curious bits about Mono licensing can be spotted in the Mono project Web site:

Why does Novell require a copyright assignment?

When a developer contributes code to the C# compiler or the Mono runtime engine, we require that the author grants Novell the right to relicense his/her contribution under other licensing terms.

This allows Novell to re-distribute the Mono source code to parties that might not want to use the GPL or LGPL versions of the code.

Particularly embedded system vendors obtain grants to the Mono runtime engine and modify it for their own purposes without having to release those changes back.

Patents

Could patents be used to completely disable Mono?

When .NET went Shared Source Miguel de Icaza talked about what it all meant. Looking at the Microsoft Reference License you find some very brow-raising phrases discussing software patents. Examples include:

(B) If you begin patent litigation against the Licensor over patents that you think may apply to the software (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit), your license to the software ends automatically.

IANAL, but nonetheless there’s something to watch out for here. We wrote about this before.

Another thing you may find suspicious is related to Novell’s copyright assignment, as mentioned above. From GNOME’s Web site, in the Evolution download page (at the bottom of the page): “Copyright © 2004-2007 Novell Inc.”

Remember that only weeks ago, Miguel de Icaza began speaking about Mono extensions for Evolution. Whatever you make out of this, all we do here is provide information.

From a discussion in Digg.com (initiated by accusations against the messenger)

Well, I actually question some of the newer parts of GNOME as well, like MONO.
They are truly constructing something that legitimizes the case for intellectual property infringement.

When some judge actually decides MONO is too much of a clone for a technilogical tool (this does not concern double-click style patents but true technology patents), the FUD due to that might back fire to all linux technology including those that are original.

If I were Microsoft i would be very happy with MONO. The trojan horse of the linux eco-system. Those actively promoting it on microsoft-sponsored-payroll (such as Novell), should have their loyalty questioned.

Richard Stallman actually wrote about this yesterday and even cited this Web site.


- ——– Original Message ——–
Subject: GNOME dependent on Mono
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 20:03:38 -0500
From: Richard Stallman rms [at] gnu.org
Reply-To: rms [at] gnu.org
To: foundation-list [at] gnome.org

I read http://boycottnovell.com/2007/11/05/gnome-mono-yelp/ with
great concern.

Since I am not an expert, I cannot tell on my own if that description
of the situation is accurate. If part of it is not accurate, I hope
someone will explain. However, if it is accurate, GNOME has a serious
problem.

I have always supported the development of free platforms for C#, just
as I’ve supported the development of free platforms for any language
that users use. I also wouldn’t argue that people should not use C#
with a free platform for secondary applications.

However, making GNOME depend on Mono is running a grave risk, and a
grave mistake. If the article accurately describes the situation, I
think we need to launch a high-priority project to reimplement Yelp in
some other language.

The use of code from Firefox in a way that might cause trademark
problems is also a serious issue. The solution might not be difficult
- — it may be enough to remove the trademark in the sources used by
GNOME wherever that is necessary — but the solution does need to be
carried out.

The nontechnical impact of these issues vastly exceeds the technical
impact, so considering them only in technical terms is fundamentally
misguided. In this sort of decision, the Foundation should intervene
and decide based on the nontechnical issues at stake. If those who
work for Novell tell us not to worry, we should not listen to them.


Given all the information which is presented here, how can one’s doubts be alleviated?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. werner said,

    November 30, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Gravatar

    I think: a) All this is not bad , but b) everybody should know it

    We should not be worried about any kind of COMERCIAL INTERESTS w.r.t. open software. Let the wolfs eat them each another.

    But we should know this, and stay far from any comercial or ‘property’ things in open source.

    It’s almost normal but OK that anybody who dance with the devil and use, directly or indirectly, any privat, no-open aplication, earlier or later is enrolled with any ‘patent rights’, ‘license terms’ or things like this.

    Thus, one simply should not participate to such privat or half-privat things, nor use them.

    It should also be observed, that patent rights – in opposite to copyrights – apply only to comercial concurrents. They are irrelevant for end-users. At least under european legislations, you can USE them as you want. Already because of this, is irrelevant the FUD by M$. In the worst case, they could process only sellers, but not users.

    The next thing is, that other states have the right of autonomy in their public administration and in the realisation of human rights (f.ex., ensign, social integration). They have even the right to declare the informatics, and the own development and divulgation of software for their administration, ensign etc as a public service and souvereignity function – in a few constitutions this is even the case – and divulge it (f.ex., give such open software to poor persons to realize the UNO’s resolution’s warrant to ensign, participation on the modernity, etc) This is not limited by patent rights of others. Not only because these are exclusively comercial rights, unaplicavel to no-comercial distribution, but because the economic rights always are submitted under higher rights, inclusive the government has the souvereignity to determine social function of economy etc. Now, the FUD by M$, when ‘advising not to use open source’ other country/people and their public service’s autonomy, human rights, is not only a right or even need for these countries to check / cancel their adherence to international patent / economic agreements; it can be a crime against public administration and souvereignity of other countries – especially when this ‘advices’ lead to fears or abstence the poor people or the officials use open software for realize their fundamental rights/ensign or public/administrative functions, resp. I think there is nothing to ‘give gratuitly’ to M$ and companions, so that is time that other counties open criminal processes against such ‘advises’.

  2. Uncle Warthog said,

    November 30, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Regarding Novell’s Mono copyright assignment terms: It strikes me as funny that they would expect anyone to contribute to Mono under those conditions considering that it is, by and large, this issue which is causing them to fork OpenOffice. Seems to me like Novell wants to have it both ways.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 30, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Gravatar

    On Groklaw, see OpenSuse developers pledge (at the bottom part of the article).

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  3. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  4. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  5. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  6. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  7. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  8. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  9. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  10. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  11. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  12. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  13. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  14. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  15. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  16. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  17. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  18. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  19. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  20. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  21. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  22. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products



  23. Investigation Reveals That USPTO is Corrupt, Time to Abolish It or Annul Nearly a Million Patents

    Corruption is found at the heart of the USPTO and the USPTO works hard to hide it, despite attempt by whistleblowers to bring this corruption to light



  24. Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

    Links for the day



  25. Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

    Links for the day



  26. Bill Gates is Profiting By Diverting Public Money to His Own Pocket and Reducing Wages

    Gates' lobbying for companies he is an investor of and for lower salaries inside companies he is investing in (and managing) comes as no surprise



  27. Microsoft is Still Attacking Open Standards, So Khronos Does Not Need the Microsoft Moles

    Having attacked the industry's document standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) while pretending to have 'embraced' ODF Microsoft is now pretending that it is eager to support OpenGL



  28. Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

    A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens' interests



  29. Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

    Links for the day



  30. Links 9/8/2014: Knoppix 7.4.0, GNU Linux Libre 3.16

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts