[Mageia-dev] Mirror layout

andre999 andr55 at laposte.net
Fri Dec 17 05:43:06 CET 2010

Ernest N. Wilcox Jr. a écrit :
> I will not enter into the argument that it is not illegal untill the patent holder comes after you.

Strictly speaking, it is not illegal until the patent holder decides to 
demand compensation, the user refuses to pay, and a court upholds the 
patent holders (claimed) civil right.
Most patents are NOT valid.  Patents are issued on the basis of not 
conflicting with other patents, not on the basis of validity, which 
would include among other factors, prior art (originality).

Remember that Microsoft has a patent on certain essential elements of a 
spreadsheet - obtained long after the first spreadsheet.  (Which wasn't 
produced by Microsoft.)

And patent holders could decide that it is not in their interest to 
demande compensation.
Mpeg is an excellent example.  By pushing free software to not use mpeg, 
they would be discouraging the use of those standards, which would lead 
to more use of alternatives, even among users that (directly or 
indirectly) pay royalties for the use of mpeg.

So yes, it is definitely NOT illegal, in itself, to use software subject 
to patent claims without paying royalties, in those countries with 
software patents.

> To my way of thinking, that feels very similar to saying that stealing is
> not a crime untill you get caught.

Before accusing someone of stealing, one has to ensure that someone else 
has ownership rights (legitimate patent), and is willing to exercise 
them (and demand royalties).
Even legitimate patent holders are permitted to allow free usage, just 
as you are free to give away anything you own.

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