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Canonical, the sponsor company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux OSĀ  have become the first member to sign up to the Open Invention Network’s new associate membership program. According to OSnews, The Open Invention Network exists to acquire patents and license them royalty free to entities which, in turn, “agree not to assert their own patents against Linux or Linux-related applications.” Current well-known companies involved with the OIN include Sony, IBM and Novell.

Not sure what to think about this very un-GPL move, but there’s bound to be a lot of conversation in the ensuing days as the community gets to grip with reality. In a patent war, its sue or be sued.

Perhaps, Canonical should rather be putting more efforts to bolster the work of the Free Software Foundation, since this really just acts to legitimiseĀ  patent law as far as computer software is concerned. Then again, you probably know the ham sandwhich was patented by the Earl of Sandwhich, and you owe somebody a lot of money for school lunches, don’t you?

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It’s the principle that matters. And if we can get our banking system to work, then we can make a lot more of a contribution in the future. So, my apologies for the inevitable bank charge but this is a dry run. My first contribution to the FSF –– DRL

Dear David Robert Lewis,

Thank you very much for your donation of $1.00, made on 2009-07-03.

We have successfully processed the payment. No goods or services were received in return for this donation.

The Free Software Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization, so your contribution is tax deductible in the
USA. Our Tax ID is 042-888-848.

Thank you for your support! If you have any questions about this
transaction, please contact us at .

Sincerely,

Deborah Nicholson
Membership Coordinator

Free Software Foundation Phone: (617)542-5942
51 Franklin Street, 5th Fl. Fax: (617)542-2652
Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA http://my.fsf.org

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