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SubjectRe: large page patch (fwd) (fwd)
On Sun, Aug 11, 2002 at 03:55:08PM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Mon, 12 Aug 2002, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> >
> > It goes on in this vein. I suggest all vm hackers have a close look at
> > this. Yes, it's stupid, but we can't just ignore it.
> Actually, we can, and I will.
> I do not look up any patents on _principle_, because (a) it's a horrible
> waste of time and (b) I don't want to know.
> The fact is, technical people are better off not looking at patents. If
> you don't know what they cover and where they are, you won't be knowingly
> infringing on them. If somebody sues you, you change the algorithm or you
> just hire a hit-man to whack the stupid git.

This issue is more complicated than you might think. Big companies with
big pockets are very nervous about being too closely associated with
Linux because of this problem. Imagine that IBM, for example, starts
shipping IBM Linux. Somewhere in the code there is something that
infringes on a patent. Given that it is IBM Linux, people can make
the case that IBM should have known and should have fixed it and
since they didn't, they get sued. Notice that IBM doesn't ship
their own version of Linux, they ship / support Red Hat or Suse
(maybe others, doesn't matter). So if they ever get hassled, they'll
vector the problem to those little guys and the issue will likely
get dropped because the little guys have no money to speak of.

Maybe this is all good, I dunno, but be aware that the patents
have long arms and effects.
Larry McVoy lm at
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