You mention two views, technical and philosophical. But, doesn't a legal need pose a third view?
One example I can think of off-hand is XMMS in Red Hat/Fedora - their downstream version had MP3 playback support removed (in both source and binary RPMs) because RH wanted to avoid patent litigation, or the threat thereof (so I've read/heard). But, the XMMS source tarball available from the SourceForge page has MP3 playback support (I haven't checked in a while).
Granted, this might partly fall under the "philosophical" category. I suppose that, as a distributor of Linux software, Red Hat is a much easier target for patent trolls when compared to some code sitting on a server somewhere (and accordingly, RH must work harder to protect itself).
P.S. Ahhh, I just remembered that the lack of MP3 playback in Red Hat/Fedora was the root cause of one of Eric S. Raymond's infamous temper tantrums! :-)
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