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OSCON interview snippets

Jul 28, 2009, 00:03 (2 Talkback[s])

"...on all sorts of other patents that read on Free Software. We know that's happening - it's out there, and you see it. And just recently, just last week, they again went after a company, Buffalo. They enforced patents against them. So we know Microsoft has a strategy to enforce patents against Free Software.

"Usually they go after companies, because the other point I want to make is that individual developers don't have a lot to fear, because Microsoft's not going to sue an individual developer because they don't have a lot of money to go after. What they'll do is that the individual developer writes something really cool, releases it under a Free Software licence, a company picks that up, and then Microsoft goes after the company. So when developers are making these decisions, it's not that they have to be afraid for themselves, and I really actually generally encourage developers not to sit in fear in patents. You should do your work and write interesting software and not sit in fear of patents. But you should think about what the risks might be with regards to broad strokes questions, like which language to use.

"So because Microsoft has this stance against Free Software using patents, we have to be particularly afraid of them.

"And when we compare it against languages from our community, like Python, Perl, PHP... technologies we developed as a Free Software community, the patent risk is somewhat mitigated. It's not gone. But it means there's not one company with a master plan to come after Free Software, which is Microsoft's master plan, make no mistake."

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