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Thread: Samsung Properly Open-Sources exFAT File-System

  1. #21
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    Default Reflection on what *actually* happened

    Gentlemen, may I direct your attention away from Microsoft Patents back to what actually happened. Correct me if I'm wrong but what I see is:

    Samsung violated the GPL and was caught red-handed.

    They tried to use GPL'd code in one of their closed-source apps. The code leaked, and the evidence was there in plain sight to everybody. The guy that actually caught them was probably not the brightest star in the universe, but he created enough stir-up that the case got proper publicity. Samsung did the only sensible thing they can do at such a moment: properly release it open-source.

    The patent debate is only between Micro$oft and Sam$ung. They will reach an agreement one way or the other...

    This case shows me very frightening development: Big companies *do not care* about the GPL. They don't have to. Any GPL'd code out there is a free resource that they can exploit as they see fit. If they get caught --> damage control and a PR campaign for their "Open-Source Initiaitves".

  2. #22
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    And Microsoft has every right to revoke the license if Samsung does things which are not permitted under the licensing terms they negotiated with MS over, whatever they may be.

    Just like the Conservancy can bar organizations from distributing GPL-ed software for non-compliance, Microsoft can do the same with organizations that do not respect its licensing terms.

    FRAND does not give the licensee the right to do whatever they want with it.
    That's funny, because on one hand, Microsoft is suing Motorola exactly because Motorola asks that Microsoft negotiate with them for a price to license their FRAND patents, and Microsoft responds with "wah wahh, Motorola is asking too much money for a FRAND license, wah wahh, they got use injuctioned in Germany for not paying for their patents, wah wahh, now we want a friendly kangaroo court to set a price for their patents, wah wahh" and on the other hand, they can continue to gouge all Linux and Android using companies (Motorola/Google included) with their own ridiculous software patents that shouldn't even be considered valid patent material in the first place...

    The patent system is broken, we need a new system. And yes I mean worldwide, and yes I mean all patents, not just swpats.

  3. #23
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    May 2013
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    Default Obviously we need to fight against any EU-US free trade deal over patents

    Quote Originally Posted by xeekei View Post
    Crap. That bloody EU-US free trade agreement will ruin a lot of things.
    I'm not sure the name of the Atlantic version, might be "Atlantic Partnership" or something along those lines, but the US will demand not only software patents but patents on GMO foods in any deal. France already pays penalties rather than comply with WTO rules about genetically-modified foods. There is a good chance that the GMO issue will either sink the deal, or sink the "intellectual property" provisions. Look at the way the mad cow laden US beef issue nearly sank the US-Korea free trade agreement until it was stripped out. These big multilateral trade deals are often stopped, the way the Doha Round was stopped after the Battle of Seattle in 1999. That died after a 2003 WTO meeting where 20 African nations walked out, and has never recoverd. We killed the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas), which was supposed to be insurance against failure of the Seattle (later Doha) trade talks. All they got was CAFTA, adding Central America to the Nafta Nightmare but leaving out South America where they had less influence. Hell, maybe Brazil would be a place to host ExFat, ffmpeg/libavconv, etc.

    If you don't like software patents, support the work of activists like myself who get out in the streets and fight to kill these deals, we've got your back.

  4. #24
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    Default If you are an indiviidual, forget patent lawsuits

    Quote Originally Posted by c117152 View Post
    I'm no lawyer so I can't be too sure, but I think the answer here is No. I think Microsoft exFAT's patents still apply even if there's an open source implementation of them in circulation. That's to say, if you use it, you're the one who is going to get sued by Microsoft, not Samsung.
    But then again, it's probably dependent on where you are in the world and how much of a legal team you can afford.
    If MS was ever dumb enough to sue a private individual for using an ExFAT camera with Linux, sales of cameras, possibly ALL digital cameras would plunge as customers avoided them no matter what OS they had. That's the ultimate FUD: confirmed legal attack. Vendors would respond by stripping out ExFAT support from all their products, and ExFAT would go the way of the .gif photo format. The owners of the .gif format sued websites for embedding .gif images without payment, and the resulting fear killed the format. Instead of paying, website owners stripped out the images and switched formats. That's why MPEG-LA dares not sue someone for an "illegal" video like one of mine on a website. In fact, that's why MPEG-LA decided to issue a temporary blanket license to all nonmonetized over the web users of H264. MS would be smart to do the same.

    Suing people for using your product is a good way to ensure people won't buy your product and sure as hell won't buy it with a credit card, use a shopper loyalty card, or send in product registration cards,

  5. #25
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    Im not surprised if Microsoft revokes Samsung's patent license for the exFAT driver, thus making it illegal for anybody to download and use Samsung's driver source code, since Samsung clearly did not get Microsoft's approval to open their driver.

    plus im damn sure that whatever the licensing terms for the exFat patents are, royalty-free dissemination is definitely not one of them.
    If MS tried to revoke the licensing rights, I doubt they'd have much of a leg to stand on.

    1)

    As far as I'm aware, the generally accepted convention is that software patents only become enforceable once the code is compiled and run on a 'general computing device'. I believe that's the reasoning behind many codec projects not distributing binaries.

    Patents cover the exclusive right to restrict others from "making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing" the invention. Source code alone does not allow someone to do any of those things. So the practical application of source code is patentable, but source code itself is only covered by copyright.

    http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/dapp/pdf/ciig.pdf
    To be statutory, a claimed computer-related process must either: (1) result in a physical transformation outside the computer for which a practical application in the technological arts is either disclosed in the specification or would have been [39] known to a skilled artisan (discussed in (i) below), or (2) be limited by the language in the claim to a practical application [40] within the technological arts (discussed in (ii) below). The claimed practical application must be a further limitation upon the claimed subject matter if the process is confined to the internal operations of the computer. If a physical transformation occurs outside the computer, it is not necessary to claim the practical application.
    2)

    Patents, by their very nature, require enough specificity for someone to implement the invention. Someone should not be able to learn anything from source code that they couldn't already learn from the parent itself.

    3)

    If the current licensing agreement didn't grant users of the code the ability to practically use the code, that (if I understand the wording) would violate the GPL. But that doesn't mean the GPL symbols couldn't be replaced and the project re-licensed ( la the ZFS FUSE implementation). Though, at that point, there wouldn't be much incentive for Samsung to keep the project open-source.

  6. #26
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    Default

    Samsung is offering a product that uses this patent, therefore they licensed it. I find it hard to believe that some source on a Git repo counts as a product. The LAME project seems to be based on this; they get away from the MPEG patent situation by not offering a product. They just offer some source code. The thinking here is that if you build a product based on it, *then* you're violating patents.

  7. #27
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    Default I thought LAME was based in France

    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    Samsung is offering a product that uses this patent, therefore they licensed it. I find it hard to believe that some source on a Git repo counts as a product. The LAME project seems to be based on this; they get away from the MPEG patent situation by not offering a product. They just offer some source code. The thinking here is that if you build a product based on it, *then* you're violating patents.
    France does not recognize software patents, even called them "harmful to the interests of France." If LAME is based there and is careful not to have a "business presence" in any other country they should be immune outright.

    As of 2013 prior to any new trade agreements, the majority of nations do not recognize software patents, with the US and South Korea as notable exceptions.

  8. #28
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    Default

    On the patents issue, even though Samsung's license for exFAT doesn't allow for unrestricted distribution of binaries, freedom of speech implies they can release the source code, if they own the copyright. The ones who would have to deal with patents are users (who will just ignore them) and distributors (who will probably work around that the same way they deal with MP3 and such).

  9. #29
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke View Post
    As of 2013 prior to any new trade agreements, the majority of nations do not recognize software patents, with the US and South Korea as notable exceptions.
    Germany says hi! And Japan, and Australia, and...

  10. #30
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lowflyer View Post
    This case shows me very frightening development: Big companies *do not care* about the GPL.
    When did this become a development? Surely you don't think they used to care about it?

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