Is mono a problem outside the US and other patent friendly countries?

Here in Europe we do not care about software patents, at least not yet.

As Canonical is based in the EU this should not give the Ubuntu community any issue by itself. So keep any patent related problem for United-States based distributions and leave Ubuntu alone. Or move to a country that enforces your freedom all-day-every-day!

While working with Egil (aka redhog aka representing-the-Pirate-party-in-Norway-colleague) in the iFolder packaging for Ubuntu I have seen the DRMish “safety computing” signing issue with dynamic linking to be a bigger problem than any patent issue that mono may represent, at least in our jurisdiction (Norway).

This is because if I link a proprietary applications to a library I should be able to change or replace that underlying library without modifying the application itself. At least if you think LGPL compliance. Thus there is a design failure that makes this mono thing a lot more complicated than I thought in order to comply to the LGPL with mono apps that are not free, since you would have to change the signing in the propietary application in order to link it to a new library, which is by no way trivial in a proprietary app. Is then mono/.net even an option?

I think I am right about this, but please can somebody shed light on this from a technical/juridical point of view? I might be wrong, you know… As I’ve been before.

Anyway I hope to be able to tell you that iFolder 3.7 is ready to be sponsored into Ubuntu within the Karmic release cycle (and of course added to debian as well), and that this bug can be closed. So we all can finally just drop that box!

Untill then, have a nice weekend!🙂

~ by huayra on 2009 June 12.

15 Responses to “Is mono a problem outside the US and other patent friendly countries?”

  1. That’s a good viewpoint to have (mono is fine, move to the EU) if you want to completely alienate a vast portion of Ubuntu’s userbase because they have the bad fortune not to live where you do.

    • I am of course making a comment directed towards Free Software distributions, not individuals… I did though make it sound as if it could be directed towards individuals just to be provocative.

      My point is not about mono being a problem, but about software patents being contraproductive and plain wrong. And that’s the issue we should be pointing at and working to fix!

      It’s a socio-political question I am trying to rise.

  2. I’d also like to hear what’s the situation with patent protected software in Europe. if we use, for example, Mono, and suddenly US-based Microsoft decides to ask for money for patent licenses, would their demands still apply to, say, Flemish people?

  3. Mono is the cancer that’s killing FLOSS.
    (That and non-enterprise code)

  4. The issue is that if Ubuntu is made to rely on and ships with Mono and it has patent issues the project loses all the US users who don’t pay up [to use it legally].

    You are right and people are working to fix it but it is not yet fixed. Another finger pointing at it and saying ‘this is a problem’ is not enough. You have to follow that up with ‘and here’s something you can do to help correct it’.

  5. > As Canonical is based in the EU this should not give the Ubuntu
    > community any issue by itself. So keep any patent related problem for
    > United-States based distributions and leave Ubuntu alone. Or move to
    > a country that enforces your freedom all-day-every-day!

    You weren’t serious right ?

  6. Has there been real progress on packaging iFolder? I am desperately waiting for this, I need both the server and the client running on Ubuntu ASAP and would love anyone who got it packaged.

  7. [i]As Canonical is based in the EU this should not give the Ubuntu community any issue by itself. So keep any patent related problem for United-States based distributions and leave Ubuntu alone. Or move to a country that enforces your freedom all-day-every-day![/i]

    Well, so please provide the “outofthebox” support for mp3, h.264 and some other popular formats that are not there only because of patent issues …

    That’s far more important for newbie users then mono.

  8. Is Canonicl not legally based in the Isle of Man? If so then it is not actually in the EU. The Isle of Man is not part of the UK and is an associate member (not a full member) of the EU.

  9. Thanks for the update Jo. I was amused that the 9.04 installer gave the Isle of Man prominence over London on the time zone selection. Maybe for 9.10 Londo wil reassert itself.

  10. […] But looking at patents in isolation, one person asks whether it is an issue only in a minority of countries. […]

  11. Issue with mono is technical and patents.

    Try to build a gnome compatible gobject in mono. Surprise you cannot. mono cannot be used to extend the gnome internal framework. Vala on the other hand can. Focus need to move off of Mono for that reason alone.

    Mono is not breeding the next level of programmers to improve the Window Managers. Mono incompatibilities also make it heavy and slow.

    Only advantage mono has is the cross platform nature of its bytecode. If C and C++ ever get a cross platform bytecode .net and java are both dead in the water.

  12. Hi Huayra,

    Are you reading the LGPL 3? Specifically section 4d 0/1 on combined works? The Mono runtime is licensed under LGPL v 2.0 which doesn’t seem to have quite the same thing going on in section 7 or anywhere else.

    http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/library.html

  13. Is it illegal to have software, that is copyrighted in the USA, on a computer in a country that does not have copyright laws, and to ssh or connect that that machine from inside the USA and use it for daily use?
    😛 I’m serious..

    This would allow me to have a desktop in a country other than my own for running almost any software I wanted (my whole OS even).. The software would never ‘run’ inside the USA, just send pictures of the machine running: like vnc through ssh or something.

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