[OT] Free software versus software idea patents

Westley Martínez anikom15 at gmail.com
Sun Apr 10 12:58:04 EDT 2011

On Sat, 2011-04-09 at 23:55 +0000, Steven D'Aprano wrote:

> On Fri, 08 Apr 2011 01:37:45 -0500, harrismh777 wrote:
> > Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> >>> The reason Mono gets hit (from others besides me) is that they are in
> >>> >  partnership and collaboration with Microsoft, consciously and
> >>> >  unconsciously. This must be punished.
> >> Just like Python, Apache, and the Linux kernel. What are you going to
> >> do to punish them?
> > 
> > What do you mean 'just like"....?    They are nothing alike.
> All three of Python, Apache and Linux have accepted donations from 
> Microsoft. Microsoft is a corporate sponsor of the PSF. Microsoft is not 
> in the business of donating money and time to competitors out of the 
> goodness of their heart. If Microsoft is giving them money or code, they 
> must be getting something out of it.
> All three projects actively collaborate with Microsoft from time to time, 
> some more than others. .NET's IronPython is one of the "big four" Python 
> implementations (the others being CPython, PyPy, and Jython), and 
> actively supported by Microsoft. What's good for Python is good for 
> IronPython and Microsoft.
> Perhaps I should also have included Firefox and Thunderbird, which 
> actively court Windows users and developers, sometimes at the expense of 
> Linux users (e.g. the use of SQLite), thus legitimizing Windows as an OS 
> for the FOSS community as well as improving the user-experience for 
> Windows users.
> Or Samba, which doesn't merely compete with Microsoft's SMB, but spreads 
> it into the Unix world and legitimizes Microsoft's protocol among FOSS 
> users. The Samba project has even worked side-by-side with Microsoft to 
> solve technical issues with Vista connectivity (or at least the Samba-TNG 
> project has).
> You paint a very attractive picture of Good versus Evil, but real life is 
> not as black and white as you make out. Mono fails to live up to your 
> extremely high standards of FOSS purity, and so you dump on it. But so do 
> some of the most important and widespread FOSS projects, yet you give 
> them a free pass. Curious.
> -- 
> Steven

It's not Good vs. Evil, it's business vs. consumers. Microsoft, as a
business, can choose what it wants to charge, how it wants to license
it's product, and which itellectual property it wants to secure.
Consumers, on the other hand, can choose to buy a product or not. If
this ends up hurting Microsoft, they'll have to change something. I
don't use Linux because it's free, I use it because it works well for
what I need, costs $0, and is easy to maintain.
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