[OT] Free software versus software idea patents

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info
Thu Apr 7 09:19:35 CEST 2011


On Thu, 07 Apr 2011 00:03:54 -0500, harrismh777 wrote:

> Ben Finney wrote:
>> It's difficult to take a claim of “free” seriously for a technology
>> (Mono) that knowingly implements techniques (the “C#” language, the
>> “.NET” platform, etc.) covered by specific idea patents held by an
>> entity that demonstrates every intention of wielding them to restrict
>> the freedom of software recipients.
> 
> Yes, precisely.
> 
> In my view, Mono encourages .NET; and that's bad. Idea patents and
> particularly idea patents covering mathematics 

Do you have an example of a patent covering mathematics that applies 
to .NET?


> ( every known piece of
> software ever written can be described by lambda algebra ) 

And every piece of hardware can be described by a mathematical function, 
so does this mean you oppose *all* patents?


> are not truly
> patentable... which is why some of us are vigorously fighting software
> patents (as well at the corporations who wield them).

What are you doing to fight software patents?



> Software must be free (as in freedom). Encouraging interoperability with
> known agendas against freedom is inconsistent with the fundamental
> proposal. 

I would have thought that if you really, truly believed in freedom, you 
would be happy to allow people the freedom to interoperate with non-free 
software. But perhaps you meant that software must be free, provided only 
the right sorts of freedom are supported.


> C# was an effort to lock-in commercial developers into the
> .NET framework (and it almost damn-well worked!).

Got a source for that?

"News just in: 100% of all enterprises are using .NET or Java!"

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware5/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=162367

<sarcasm>
And you can trust it because Forrester said so!
</sarcasm>


As I see it, C# has never had more than an 8% market share. But perhaps 
you have some better data.



> At this point Microsoft has absolutely nothing to offer the computer
> science community at large except bzillions of euros ( or dollars ) of
> wasteful litigation and head-ache. 

Do you have an example of this wasteful litigation?




-- 
Steven



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