FSFE Newsletter

simo simo.sorce at xsec.it
Tue Jan 8 17:36:02 UTC 2008

On Tue, 2008-01-08 at 16:45 +0000, Rui Miguel Silva Seabra wrote:
> Actually, I'm more concerned with the lack of response to the patent
> issue, which legitimises Microsoft's software patents.

Citing from: http://samba.org/samba/PFIF/

"Although we were disappointed the decision did not address the issue of
patent claims over the protocols, it was a great achievement for the
European Commission and for enforcement of antitrust laws in Europe."

"No per-copy royalties are required from the PFIF, Samba developers,
third party vendors or users and no acknowledgment of any patent
infringement by Free Software implementations is expressed or implied in
the agreement."

"The patent list provides us with a bounded set of work needed to ensure
non-infringement of Samba and other Free Software projects that
implement the protocols documented by Microsoft under this agreement.
Any patents outside this list cannot be asserted by Microsoft against
any implementation developed using the supplied documentation. Unlike
the highly dubious patent covenants recently announced by some companies
this warranty extends to all third parties. Also unlike past agreements,
this agreement has been carefully scrutinized by the Software Freedom
Law Center, the premier legal experts for the GPL and Free Software."

Also read the section "The Agreement" here:
http://samba.org/samba/PFIF/PFIF_history.html to understand the progress
we made and what we were able to achieve.

Last, but not least, remember that software patents exist and are valid
in the USA. Ignoring this fact would make any antitrust ruling worthless
and meaningless for Free Software as Free Software has no boundaries.
If you read the agreement in fact, you will see both USA (bigger number)
and EU patents listed.
All in all, this ruling is not too bad, we could have had something
better about patents, but not considering them was simply not possible
for the EC at this time even if they wish.

I won't answer to the rest, I see no point to as you have already
decided what is true and false, right and wrong, important and not, and
are not willing to "discuss" and learn what lead to the current
agreement and why it was done this way but you just want to assert your
point of view.
I do not agree with it, so we will just not agree.


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