Posted Jun 13, 2007 0:21 UTC (Wed) by qu1j0t3
In reply to: forthright != Linus
Parent article: Linus on GPLv3 and ZFS
This still does not fully explain to me why, to date, kernel devs aren't looking dispassionately as the affordances of ZFS and how they might have them without stepping on anyone's patent*. Max V. Yudin recently asked on zfs-discuss,
... is it legal to write ZFS clone from scratch while
maintaining binary compatibility with original?
Jeff mentioned in his blog that Sun filled 56 patents on ZFS related technologies. Can anybody from the company provide me with more information about this?
If porting ZFS to Linux kernel is not an option and I were to implement different file system with ZFS ideas in mind how can I be safe and not break any Sun patents?
There has been no meaningful resolution of his questions. At least it may prove that, thanks to software patents, interesting development is now impossible. So much for stimulating innovation...
* - I suppose NetApp has patents too, but perhaps Linus wishes to imply that they would be more tractable to deal with than Sun (maybe he actually knows somebody @ NetApp). Let's dream for a moment, and imagine that Linus and Jonathan, over a piña colada one Sunday, work out a magical way to free ZFS for kernel inclusion. That would be a P/R coup for Sun an order of magnitude greater than even the Apple buzz. Since Solaris 10 famously runs on all varieties of hardware (IBM, HP, Dell, even Macs), I don't seriously think Jonathan believes this would damage hardware sales. Then again, I only have the ponytail, not an MBA, and my bonuses are a few zeroes short of his. ;-)
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