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kevin lyda writes:
> On Fri, Aug 06, 2004 at 04:05:43PM +0100, nils Olofsson wrote:
> > I was am in the process of talking to the deputy major of kk to
> > tell/show him what free/open source software is (in the hope of getting
> > a pilot project going somehow). Now what should I do ?.
> > Scrap the whole idea or push ahead.
>> first, i'm not a lawyer. i'm just trying to apply logic:
> with free software you can look inside it and see if it violates patents
> and then assess your risk. with closed software you cannot so you will
> not know your risk.
> so, if you want a known amount of risk then i suggest going as you are.
> if you want an unknown level of risk, use closed software.
Also, bear in mind that there's a patent-infringement case going on right
now in the US, against *USERS* of closed-source software: ISVs that use MS
SQL Server are being sued for license fees, by a company called Timeline
Given that, closed-source is clearly not much help. (In fact, the
GPL includes a clause that would avoid this case, so OSS may actually
be less dangerous than closed-source.)
It appears that this is the way the software business is going these days
- -- all of us, both open and closed-source developers and vendors, will
just have to take these effects of software patents into account, if they
become legal in Europe.
(Also relevant: Tim Bray's take on the situation:
'In software, assume that everything is already patented. You can't
build anything, no matter how new it is, without infringing someone's
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