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?