Novell, buyer's remorse, and the patent threat
Posted Nov 23, 2006 21:48 UTC (Thu) by coriordan
In reply to: Novell, buyer's remorse, and the patent threat
Parent article: Novell, buyer's remorse, and the patent threat
Having the source code viewable does not make free software more vulnerable than proprietary software. As you can see in the example shown in the article, problematic patents are not so detailed that someone would need source code to determine an infringement.
Indeed, free software is less vulnerable in some ways. For one example, anyone can remove a patented feature. With proprietary software, if a court rules that the software violates a patent, users of that software have to either continue using it and leave themselves vulnerable to patent litigation, or stop using the software completey.
With free software, anyone can publish a version of the software with the patented feature removed, so users have the third option of continuing to use the software but the patented feature removed - so they are not vulnerable.
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