Tuesday, February 01, 2005

OPEN SOURCE - KEEPING THOSE LICENSES STRAIGHT: (From CNET) The latest tactic in the software-patenting battle is the granting of patent rights to open-source developers. Sun Microsystems recently made software patents available for use by open-source developers. But its patent grant came with strings attached: The 1,600-some patents may only be used under Sun's Common Development and Distribution License, which is incompatible with the General Public License used on Linux.

So while claiming to make the patents available to open-source developers, Sun can sue folks who work on Linux rather than Solaris. The irony here is that Sun's open-source license is derived from the same license used for Mozilla.

But Mozilla's developers have made most of their software available under the GPL, as well as under terms of their own license. If Sun wants to be a partner in the open-source community, then shutting out the Linux developers isn't a good start.

Philip Albert of Linux Insider writes that while IBM's patent release was generally well-received by the open source community, Sun's move has so far been viewed with suspicion by some, including its competitors, IBM, Red Hat and Novell.

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