Legal, Laws, and Regs RDF

RDF patent dispute

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Over at the RDF interest online forum, at least two developers of implementations based on RDF have received a legal mailing from a firm representing Unified Data Technologies Ltd (UDTL), implying a possible patent infringement due to the use of RDF/RSS.

The RDF working group is consulting with the W3C about the legalities of the whole thing. You can read more at:
RDF Interest Group online forum

Patents in question are:

Patent 5,684,985 and 6,092,077 as well as others most likely under review for patent pending.

Hopefully the W3C will be able to resolve this, but I doubt this will go away quickly. At least one of the impacted projects, 4suite, is open source.

This is an effort to exploit open source as well as an open W3C specification, enabled by the extremely poor patent review methods of the US Patent and Trademark Office. A case of making money off of the goodwill efforts of others.

Happy New Year, Open Source. Happy New Year, RDF.

Legal, Laws, and Regs

Microsoft settlement

Recovered from the Wayback Machine

I don’t blame Microsoft for the abysmal settlement that’s ticked off so many states (see States urge Microsoft penalties). Corporations work for themselves — It’s the way of the capitalist world. To prevent corporations from being complete assholes, you have consumer and fair trade protection laws such as the antitrust laws, and legal organizations such as the Justice Department to enforce them.

It’s not Microsoft’s fault that the Justice Department’s decision ranks up there with England’s “let’s increase the tea tax for the colonies” as one of the worst decisions in history.