FSFE Newsletter

Alex Hudson home at alexhudson.com
Mon Jan 7 19:18:36 UTC 2008

On Mon, 2008-01-07 at 18:05 +0000, Rui Miguel Silva Seabra wrote:
> Even if it's a one-time payment royalty, it's a royalty on software
> patents which implies respecting them.
> If this view from the result is incorrect, please tell me how it is so,
> for this comes straight from Kroes's statements and Microsoft's
> agreements.

I'm not sure that's correct - if the new foundation had paid money to
Microsoft because of patents, surely there ought to be a patent license
or similar to cover the developers? An NDA is just that - it's not a
patent license, and it doesn't protect you from being sued over patents.

Indeed, the correct title of the agremeent is:

"Microsoft Work Group Server Protocol Program License Agreement (No

- http://samba.org/samba/PFIF/PFIF_agreement.pdf

The payment is for access to the documentation. Call it trade secrets,
or whatever, it doesn't really matter - patents don't really seem to
come into it.

Personally, if the documentation is good and correct, I think €10k is a
bit of a bargain - I bet it would have cost Microsoft a lot more than
that to put together, and I bet a number of companies have paid a lot
more than that to gain access to it.



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