[Mageia-dev] Mirror layout

Wolfgang Bornath molch.b at googlemail.com
Sat Dec 11 11:08:50 CET 2010

2010/12/11 andre999 <andr55 at laposte.net>:
> Software (or anything else) only infringes on a patent if a court says so.

I am not talking about being sued for patent infringement, I may have
said it not clearly enough: I am talking about distributing (not
writing) software which is already protected by patents in a country
where software patents are acknowledged.

>> This is not the question because we are not talking about costly court
>> trials.
> The damages claimable are in proportion to the loss the claimant can
> demonstrate.  So even if they win (at least partially), will it be worth the
> effort ?

Again, we are not talking about court trials about the writing of the
software and thus infringing some patent, I am talking about
distributing software which is already known to be patented software.
I am not talking about sease & desist letters with a bill for the
lawyer's work. Not about any punishment fees or whatever you have to
pay after you loose a court trial.

>>> "cease and desist" letters are just warnings.  Any attached "bill" would
>>> only have effect if validatated by a court.
>> Yes, I can refuse to pay, then it goes to court. And with an existing
>> law which protects patented software, who do you think will win?
> Again, until it decided by a court, it is only an unvalidated claim.
> In the U.S., rarely does a patent holder win enough to justify their legal
> costs.  If they win.  A lot of the costs are pretrial preparation, to
> develop a case.

Tell that to the senders of thousands of such letters, each with a 100
USD bill attached.
Again, we are NOT talking about big companies sueing other companies
for patent infringement.

> These warnings are a tactic to scare the naive, to a large degree.
> Lawyers and others do it everywhere.  Did you realise that these warnings
> generally contain a statement to ensure that they can't be used in court
> against the author ?  Because the usually excessive demands will work
> against them in court ?

Is that so in the US? It is different in Germany. The demands have
been excessive but the highest court decided that these fees should
only cover the cost of the lawyer who sends this cease & desist
letter. It's around 100 Euros maximum IIRC.

Daniel Kreutzer wrote:
> If every developer on this world who writes open source software would care about such patents, than nobody would be able to program because you have to fear that a big company like Microsoft will have a patent on some part of code. But as you mentioned in previous posts, only such people with lots of money will have problems.

I did not write anything about developers. I wrote about maintainers
of mirrors who are distributing patented software in a country where
such patents are acknowledged. That's a totally different picture.


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