Re: Software patents underlie a novel open source business model (video)
Posted by: bilbophile
on March 30, 2008 11:36 AM
The interview is too long and does not highlight very clearly the main issues. Basically, that company has come up with an equivalent of the copyright dual licensing for patents. Developers who only want to develop patent-free copyleft software can do it for free, while at the same time for-profits cannot improve their bottom line by using other people's intellectual work without due compensation.
However, one of the reasons such dual arrangments have not been put in place before is that unlike copyrights patents cost money, sometimes quite a lot of money, and anyway software patents are not (yet?) enforceable in some jurisdictions, most notably the EU. Thus patents have tended to be limited to closed source projects. Still, if this works well for their patented technology, the way dual licensing has been working for MySQL or Star/OpenOffice, more power to them!
Another relevant issue is that if a Redmond-based or a big blue company wishes to share its IT development work with the community of its eco-system, but at the same time they want to prevent their comeptiton from taking undue advantage of their work, it now has a model to work on. There is no longer a reasonable scope for bilateral patent covenants between such companies and open-source developers/distributors.
This is all that the interview is about. The two guests could have explained it much more briefly and poignantly by the two guests, should they have been asked the right questions.
[Modified by: bilbophile on March 30, 2008 12:39 PM]
[Modified by: bilbophile on March 30, 2008 12:44 PM]