[OT] Free software versus software idea patents

Benjamin Kaplan benjamin.kaplan at case.edu
Thu Apr 7 17:50:44 CEST 2011

On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 11:31 AM, harrismh777 <harrismh777 at charter.net> wrote:
> Steven D'Aprano wrote:
>> Let's reword your concern slightly:
>>     It's difficult to take a claim of “free” seriously for
>>     technologies (including, but not limited to, HTML, CSS, C++,
>>     XML, Public Key Cryptography, packet-based multimedia, IPv6)
>>     that knowingly or unknowingly [the later not being a defence
>>     against infringement] implement techniques covered by specific
>>     idea patents held by an entity that allegedly demonstrates
>>     every intention, or at least some intention, of wielding them
>>     to restrict the freedom of software recipients.
> Steve, this is a straw man argument. Its not good argument to reword 'his'
> concern, nor to provide a non-related analogy, nor to build a straw man that
> you can easily knock down. In doing so, your argument loses merit (bad
> enough) but also you end up missing the other point.
> No one is 'singling out' Mono. Mono and .NET are just examples of evil
> proprietary frameworks|software designed to lock-in market share and usurp
> freedom.  There are *many* other examples that we might talk about. But the
> main point is that if you value freedom, you will not support proprietary
> frameworks.

>So, if a software package, like just for example (Cobra), relies
> on .NET (or Mono) then Cobra is a bad thing for freedom in computer scinece.
> If Python is free software ( at least GPL compatible license ) then Python
> is a 'good thing' from the standpoint of freedom in computer science. That
> was the comparison.

Cobra does not rely on a proprietary framework. It runs on Mono, which
is an open source implementation of the ECMA-334 and ECMA-335
standards. The only difference between it and Python is that Python
was developed at a research institute while .NET was developed at a

> There is no FUD here...
> Absolutely CERTAIN

>>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.

Looks like FUD and smells like FUD. Unless you happen to be on
Microsoft's legal team and know that they're about to sue everyone
who's using Mono.

> kind regards,
> m harris
> --
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list

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