[ros-dev] Patent on FAT

Steven Edwards winehacker at gmail.com
Fri Jan 13 05:53:07 CET 2006


On 1/12/06, Wesley Parish <wes.parish at paradise.net.nz> wrote:
> If the worst comes to the worst, there's plenty of room on this jugular to go
> for.

Well we need money to mount a case and I think Alex and I have come up
with a solution to the problem. I hope that someone will Wiki this for
me. Also if we do decide to follow through on this plan we need to
wage the largest public relations war possible.

I propose that from now on all CVS builds have the SFN-LFN code
disabled in the vfat driver and that in stage2 setup we have a gui
tool that loads like the vmware driver installer that contains a
dialog with checkboxes like the following:

Patented Features Page
[] Enable FreeType Patented Features
[] Enable Fat32 Patented Features

Disclaimer Text., Yada, Yada, Yada

I understand that for freetype we may have to have a autodownloader
that redirects to somewhere outside of the United States but for the
fat features I think we can follow the Microsoft design and make it a
registry key.

Now the part of this plan where it comes to making money to fight the
patent I have to thank Alex for. He suggested that we just charge
$0.35 per download and pay Microsoft the $0.25 per license they want,
so we would make a profit. I personally hate this idea but it got me
thinking. We could have a download page that offers two builds. The
download page should clearly explain the situation about the patent
and contain a paypal link for donations plus have a option to download
a build with the patent enabled for the license free + a small cost to
us like Alex said. The ReactOS Foundation would then pay Microsoft per
copy sold and take the rest to put in the general party and legal
defense fund to mount a case agenst the very patent we are licensing.

I am open to comments and or outright rejection of the idea. I don't
like the idea of giving Microsoft more money but on the flip side it
gives us the chance to spin things for us in the media, bring money in
and make them look very bad once we start fighting the case.

Steven Edwards - ReactOS and Wine developer

"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and
that is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

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