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Open Invention Network Expands Patent Protection

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the gnu-patent-regime dept.

Open Source 22

Thinkcloud writes "More than 700 new software packages including popular packages such as KVM, Git, OpenJDK, and WebKit will now receive royalty-free shelter under the Open Invention Network. This could make it more friction-free for organizations and developers to adopt and modify open source technology." OIN's press release has a bit more detail. They've greatly expanded their definition of the "Linux system" to cover a lot more core software with their defensive patent pool.

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A personal need. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39274373)

Can this be extended to hardware?

Because I'd like to buy a new ogg playing car radio; had one and was very much pleased with it, but it's not easy to find another.

As I understand, some can play ogg but avoid advertising the fact... possibly out of fear of patent litigation.

And no, I'm not fanatical about ogg (though I am about free formats) -- it's just that mp3 has some annoying artifacts -- and the encoder is good and lame at the same time ;-).

This is great, but... (4, Insightful)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 2 years ago | (#39274399)

That's great and all, but the very existence of a "defensive patent" portfolio/company indicates to me that the system is totally broken.

Re:This is great, but... (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39274423)

And there is pretty much no balls behind those promises. Microsoft uses patents to attack features in Linux kernel, yet these guys are yet to release even a simple press release.

Re:This is great, but... (2)

Alioth (221270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39274737)

Have they? I know Ballmer has blustered about vague claims, but to my knowledge, Microsoft has never actually launched a direct patent attack against the Linux kernel.

Re:This is great, but... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39275291)

Because there's no money there... but they will attack anything that uses the kernel: Android, Nook, TomTom

Re:This is great, but... (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39275531)

Recall that SCO launched a direct attack, and MS backed them. SCO demanded a $699 license fee from every Linux user, alleging that there was patented technology in the Linux kernel. It was highly improper of SCO to hit up users, but MS did not discourage SCO from trying that, far from it. If there were any merits to their claims, SCO should have pursued developers and perhaps distributors, not end users. To use a car analogy, what SCO tried was like demanding payment from everyone who ever drove a Ford over some patents that Ford allegedly violated.

The entire affair was based on the idea that software should be patentable. SCO was soundly defeated (thank you PJ!), but sadly, software is still patentable in the US. MS bears a great deal of blame for that. They have not lobbied for that fundamental change. Instead, they've bought into the insanity, going so far as to agree with those idiots running the entertainment industry. I can understand Big Media not getting it, but MS is supposed to be a savvy tech company. We all laugh when trolls like Eolas score big wins against MS.

Re:This is great, but... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39280145)

In a just world, SCO would be forced to refund all of those $699 licenses with interest before paying any other bill including legal fees and executive salary. After all, they licensed something they didn't even own.

Of course, in a just world, the rotting zombie corpse of SCO wouldn't still be lumbering around rattling legal sabres.

Re:This is great, but... (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39274427)

Is there anyone who doesn't know The System Is A Fraud? And yet, it seems foolish to ignore it. There's nothing hypocritical about maintaining a defensive patent portfolio and working to abolish software patents simultaneously. Now, if you were to launch a preemptive attack from that portfolio, that would be hypocritical...

Re:This is great, but... (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 2 years ago | (#39274583)

Oh I'm not saying they shouldn't be doing this, given how the current system works. It's totally prudent on their part.

Re:This is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39276295)

There's nothing hypocritical about maintaining a defensive patent portfolio and working to abolish software patents simultaneously.

Agreed.

Now, if you were to launch a preemptive attack from that portfolio, that would be hypocritical...

I disagree. Navigating and using an existing system is not equivalent to acknowledging that system as a good one.
Additionally, building a strong patent pool and sue the shit out of other stakeholders can create a strong incentive for a change. Won money could also be used to fund legal defense of participants that are being attacked.

Re:This is great, but... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39276467)

Now, if you were to launch a preemptive attack from that portfolio, that would be hypocritical...

I disagree. Navigating and using an existing system is not equivalent to acknowledging that system as a good one.

I didn't say it would be a bad idea, only that it would be hypocritical. It might be immoral, but it's probably less immoral than the next guy.

Re:This is great, but... (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39274555)

Don't worry, the politicians will fix it just as soon as they take care of more important issues like obscure contraception rules, symbolic budget showdowns, school prayer, etc.

Re:This is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39274749)

You forgot the war on personal freedom.

Re:This is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39274557)

Like the very existence of police indicates to you that society is totally broken.

The system may be broken, but it's not because of the need to protect one self from those who would attack you, independently of how well they can do so under the given system.

Re:This is great, but... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39280275)

The system is broken because it's legal system allows itself to be used as a bludgeon to attack the innocent.

Your analogy would be if we needed a police force to protect us from being shaken down by the police. And that would, indeed, be a broken system.

Re:This is great, but... (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#39274633)

"system is totally broken"

This phrase has lost all meaning on me. Humans break all things, including systems. They misuse them, abuse them. Every minor exception neglected by creators of the system, becomes a major use, because humans use the systems this way.

Every system has its own purpose different (or narrowing down) from main human instinct - grab stuff lying around.

defense patent portfolio crap (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39274549)

How about REALLY free (free as in free, not free as in herpes) software: public domain (e.g. SQLite), BSD, etc.? They obviously cannot do it.

Re:defense patent portfolio crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39275045)

Nobody uses, or even cares about, BSDs. Live with it.

Re:defense patent portfolio crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39275747)

Closed software shops do use it now and then, because it works, it's cheaper (free as in beer) and can be dice and sliced the way they can. Sometimes it's the missing ingredient they need for a superior quality offering.

So, they come here and beg for Linux developers to relicense things under the BSD licence.

I'm only in doubt who I'd call dumber: they or the idiots who pay them money?

there should be a GNU patent (2)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#39274591)

GNU patent: every patent that is based on that patent (built on top of that patent, would be impossible without that patent) should be also a GNU patent.

Re:there should be a GNU patent (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39277217)

Except that the system is rigged to make this impossible: patent fees are damn expensive, to make sure everyone defects in what is essentially prisoner's dilemma.

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