Charles O. Nutter (who is a Sun employee):
And yes, I’ve seen the Microsoft news. I’d hate to be an OSS developer or apologist at Microsoft today. If Sun did something like this I’d resign.
An excerpt from the news he’s referring to:
Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith and licensing chief Horacio Gutierrez sat down with Fortune recently to map out their strategy for getting FOSS users to pay royalties. Revealing the precise figure for the first time, they state that FOSS infringes on no fewer than 235 Microsoft patents.
235? I don’t believe this at all; I believe that free and open source software probably violates at least 80% of Microsoft’s patents — which must be a few thousand by now. The problem, of course, is not with the “violations”, but rather that the idea to make software patentable is just idiotic.
I’ll grant any non-IT professional the right to misunderstand this — but any programmer, developer or software architect claiming software patents are a good idea just flips the bozo bit for me.
If your name is on a software patent, you should feel ashamed.