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SubjectRe: Tux2 - evil patents sighted
Date
Eirik Fuller wrote:
> Is that really your email address?

No, but my email address can easily be contructed putting together my
last name and innominate.de.

> I work at Network Appliance. I hate patents. I can't find anything in
> your position on patents that I disagree with.

I tried to be as accurate as I could.

> I have seriously considered writing a patent rant for my web page
> (http://hackrat.com/). Would you like to help? I have no objection to
> making my connection with NetApp a highly visible part of my rant.

Yes, by all means. You are not the first to ask permission to use my
rant. I don't need credit for it; if it does some good, that is enough.

> I've fallen behind on the Linux kernel email archives (I just got back
> from a long weekend), but I would have seen your message eventually,
> after I started catching up. As it happens, I found it because there
> was internal discussion of your message here at NetApp. Dave Hitz
> thinks that if NetApp leaves you alone, you'll go away.

He thinks wrongly. There is no chance of that.

> Steven Kleiman
> presumes the correct strategy is to go after those who attempt to
> distribute it commercially rather than going after you (he doesn't spell
> out what he means by "it", but I assume your code).

I won't accept *any* form of restriction on what I do with it, for two
reasons:

1) I dreamed this up several years before you guys did
2) Patents are evil

I'm not sure which one matters more to me. They both do.

I'd like to reply to every point in your post, it's all interesting, but
I should not, because I have a very simple point to make now: Netapp has
a lot more to gain by doing the right thing now and releasing these
patents under a GPL-compatible license than by trying to preserve their
government-granted monopoly on the ideas. Please do the right thing.

Does Walmart have a patent on their business process? No. Does Walmart
make tons of money? Yes. Why? Because they give people what they
need, in the most efficient way, and they make their customers feel
*good* while they're doing it. That way of making money works, and I
could swear that it works better than patent-aided extortion does.

Netapp does not need the protection of patents to make money. If
anybody does need such protection, then that is because they are lame
and useless. Netapp will make more money by capitalizing on the
goodwill and PR resulting from a high-profile giveaway then they ever
would by forestalling competition with their patent. And it is not
clear at all that these particular patents can be successfully used to
forestall competition, either from free or commercial software.

If Netapp opens up, Netapp can be known as the friend of the Linux
community. I think that translates more or less directly into dollars.

> If you'd like to contact me outside of NetApp, you can use the mailto
> link in http://hackrat.com/resume.html (but feel free to use my NetApp
> address too).

I certainly will, and perhaps I will see you in Atlanta next week, and
later in Miami. I would look forward to it.

--
Daniel
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