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May 14 2007

News: Free and open source software violates Microsoft patents

In the article by Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft: Free and open source software violates 283 Microsoft patents, it demonstrated again why intellectual property licenses could be rewritten to take care of this. For example, when I wrote the MIS specification license, I took the initiative to make it available for free for non-commercial projects from the start.

By doing that, some did say that I would indirectly benefit from free projects by helping making it a standard(can't pleased them all). My intentions were and are still sincere. I look at it the another way when I wrote the license. If commercial applications started using it first, then free projects would had to pay to get the documentation or reverse engineer the specification with trials and errors. I resolved that too by making the documentation available for free.

I also look a other licenses and I decided to make it affordable even for small developer(e.g. shareware). Many licenses asked for a few thousands/year plus royalties. Me, I ask for a $50/year(with 5000 unites included) with $0.01/unit up to $0.05/unit for royalties. A freeware or open source application would not have to pay me anything but a new standalone DVD player or media center application could cost just 1 to 5 cents more. It's a far cry from the $0.50 to $5.00 for supporting other intellectual properties.

Don't get me wrong, but developing intellectual property cost more time and money than people realize, I know first hand ;). What may look simple could have taken months before it's finalize.I just hope that Microsoft go easy but Linux is a different business model. How many business servers are using it!

Microsoft and others should take a page from me the next time they write their license ;)

In the end, people will try to find a free solution first and pay if none match their needs.

What do you think?

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  1. TheDuke84 said:

    Right on target!

    If I don’t like the free “whatever”, I will pay for the commercial/shareware version. So, M$ don’t do anything. Your not losing a sale of Office with me because I use Open Office(I have very basic needs) or would look to something much cheaper.

    Steve, when will we get a DVD player? My parent don’t need a HTPC and I would like to burn 4-6 recorded movies on DVD with .MIS/.JPG. It would be much simpler for them to see the description of a movie. Still waiting for one ;)

    May 14th, 2007 at 6:30 pm
  2. Steve McGrath said:

    It’s in the works. Last week, I send proposals to many manufacturers that make DVD or hard drive based media player. Do you have one in mind? If so, you could contact them to show your interest.

    May 14th, 2007 at 6:37 pm
  3. TheDuke84 said:

    Not really. The first to get one out will get my money :D
    Can you make some standard text I could email to them. It would help me and others.

    Sorry if it goes off topic :p

    May 14th, 2007 at 6:42 pm
  4. Steve McGrath said:

    No trouble!

    I will make a new post if your think it would be easier for you and others.

    May 14th, 2007 at 6:45 pm
  5. TheDuke84 said:

    Thanks!

    Back to topic:

    I think the way you did the license is ok with me. If you can make a living in the future from that, then great for you. Plus, it’s easy for others(freeware, open source) to support the spec. Me, I like choices.

    Btw, $0.05 for a DVD player, that’s cheap. You won’t get rich very fast :(

    P.S.
    On each update(MIV or I2M), I check the ads and click one to help you. Don’t worry, I only click if I see something that’s worth it.

    May 14th, 2007 at 6:58 pm
  6. Steve McGrath said:

    I know I won’t get rich but I’m not greedy either ;)

    Thank you for your support

    I which more users would be like you. That’s why I got Simtel now in addition to Adsense. So, if users download from the site, they can visit an ad that interest them or go to Simtel. Every click count ;) I’m sure it’s same elsewhere.

    May 14th, 2007 at 7:12 pm

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