[Cake] On an org and on joining the software patent non-aggression community

Dave Taht dave.taht at gmail.com
Sat Oct 31 09:20:36 EDT 2015

Over the last 5 years or so the open inventions network has grown by
leaps and bounds.

Here in the bufferbloat pits... instead of joining that, we worked
really hard to make sure codel went out into the public domain
unpatented - for anyone to use, and so far, so good on that....

But there are so many IP landmines ahead (and behind) that it makes
sense for at least CeroWrt/make-wifi-fast to now join with a group
like OIN for mutual defense against the trolls. I think. Maybe.

Perhaps other groups like gargoyle or dd-wrt should also join, if they
have not already.

In particular, lots of lots of chip producers have joined OIN of late,
and with probably lots of IP to share. To name just a few: Avago,
Cavium, Cadence, Cavium, DSP, Mellanox, Sequans, VIA, LG, CalAmp, etc.

If anyone here has any comments, positive or negative to make about
oin, or this course of action, please discuss. I have no idea how
companies like the Cisco's of the world, view OINs efforts.

i would not mind securing and then assigning to an oin, a hw patent or
two, myself. I think. A plaque on the wall would be nice, but I am
still wrapping my head around the implications of how oin relates to
hardware development....


In other news, actually making cerowrt and/or bufferbloat.net a functioning org
(non profit or for profit) is something on my mind - probably based in
europe (sweden or denmark). If anyone here would like to discuss that
(need a BOD,
articles of incorporation, etc), drop me a line off-list, and if
enough people are interested, we'll hash it out on some other list.

...Until now, I have generally taken care of paying all of cerowrt and
bufferbloat.net's misc bills, out of teeny little teklibre. All else
was provided by volunteers and orgs that cared enough to loan or
donate resources, which was pretty awesome. Total cash donations to
the whole five year effort from individuals was probably less than
about 15k, prior to the fcc letter fundraiser, which raised ~8k.

(I shudder to think of what the real costs were....)

As a non-org...

We benefited hugely from isc.org's hosting in particular, but they are
now shutting down ( :( ) that, and google funded the openwrt build
system for a while (grant now expired), and I survived on somewhat
non-related contracts with comcast and google fiber and misc others
and am still paying the last bills for the now-shut-down yurtlab, and
maintaining the sole remaining machine in the google compute build
cluster, (which I would like to spin up more fully as we try to get
homenet and make-wifi-fast more widely tested) - and I'm based at the
uni of karlstad in sweden presently...

So a ton of stuff has to move around... the dns servers and and web
servers have to move into the cloud soon...

...AND there may be a few grant opportunities arriving, that it would
be saner to A - have another/real org for, along with B - have better
housing against liabilities and new costs.

Another option, instead of forming a new org, would be to join
something like software for the public interest... get icei.org more
alive... or.. nl.net.

Nlnet.nl has the first small scale/small grant program/process (30k
typically) for sustaining engineering  that I have dealt with that I
have ever seen work - it is fast and easy - as since august they been
helping pay for jon's work on cake! - and they've been a joy to work
with, as was iis before them.

So A - forming an org, and B - getting protections for same - are
conflated, but what I mostly wanted to get out of my mailbox this
morning was the ideas behind OIN.

Anyway, below is the conversation I'd had a few weeks back with one of
the members of oin that convinced me we should look them over, and
that maybe now would be a good time to get the house more in order.

Dave Täht
I just invested five years of my life to making wifi better. And,
now... the FCC wants to make my work, illegal for people to install.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Valer Mischenko
Date: Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 8:34 AM
Subject: Re: CeroWrt joining software patent non-aggression community
To: Dave Taht <dave.taht at gmail.com>

Nice to hear from you Dave,

That's because virtually all the innovation is the legal land-mine,
OIN exists and is doing it so well now. Not because we like patents,
just the opposite. But because we realise that the community needs to
show off its weapons to counteract aggression. A prayer cannot stop
aggression, but showing off your weapons can often prevent it.

You may see it as building a fortress in a hostile woods full of
trolls. Everybody who does not want to be attacked and wants to be
protected is welcome. With a weapon or without, big or small,
commercial or non-profit. If one does not have a weapon, he brings a
brick with him (his voice against aggression) which entrenches the
walls of the fort. That's how we build it.

Even if you are careful as hell in choosing the techniques, you cannot
prevent them attack you. If you are in the market, your are exposed.
That's a silly fact. With OIN we cannot change the world, but we try
to build a mutual protection around innovation. For trolls it seems
quite easy to threaten anyone - this is just righting a letter to an
innovating collective, claiming any patent infringement and wait for
fees. Defending yourself from them, on the other side, might be very
difficult. This asymmetry is widely exploited by trolls. But if you
have unconditional rights to use this ocean of intellectual property
of OIN members, they can barely do anything to you, as you are covered
to the best possible extent. Albeit not 100%, nobody can guarantee
that of course.

OIN provides unprecedented IP coverage. There is no analogue. Hundreds
of thousand of patents around Linux plus additionally ~1000 patents of
the OIN which you get the right to use forever. In your open source or
proprietary products. And you keep this rights even if OIN or any or
all members do not exist anymore. For you undersign the license, not a
contract with OIN. The license may sound a bit legalistic, as it was
compiled as "one-size-fits-all", from multinational to SME to startup
to project, and to help the licensees to defend themselves as good as
possible. What the license in essence says is the following:

(1) All members give the project Interactive a royalty-free license
for their Linux-related patents and patent applications.

(2) In return the project gives a royalty-free license for any Linux
system patents or patent applications (if any) to other members.

(3) OIN gives the project a royalty-free license for the large
portfolio of OIN's own defensive portfolio of patents and patent
applications (~1000) which includes many other fields of open source
next to Linux, like cloud, PHP, eCommerce, biometrics, apps building,
embedded, etc.

That's it in fact. You only share your Linux related patents with the
rest of the community, if you have any. If not, that's OK too, you do
not have to contribute anything in kind either.

This might be a no brainer when discussing this with your mates. If
necessary we can set up a conf call and talk about this together with
other team members.

Let me know if I can help with anything.

Best regards, Valer.

On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 2:03 PM, Dave Taht <dave.taht at gmail.com> wrote:
> yes, I have thought about it. when cerowrt started you were a lot
> smaller than this.
> on the other hand, we worked really hard to make codel patent-free in
> the first place, as we wanted a total non-agression pact on it, AND we
> wanted people to be able to reuse the code in binary only distros,
> etc. I also have some trust issues.
> That said, yes, we'll join, after I discuss with the other
> participants in the make-wifi-fast project. That portion of the field
> is a legal land-mine, and while I have been careful to only use
> techniques for which I believe sufficient prior art exists to
> invalidate any patents we might cross, it would be nice to have a
> higher scale of protection for the work.
> On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 1:59 PM, Valer Mischenko
> <vmischenko at openinventionnetwork.com> wrote:
> > Hi Dave,
> >
> > My name is Valer. I am from Open Invention Network. We help protect Open
> > Source and Linux-related technology from patent tension. Our goal is to
> > build a non-aggression “standard of behavior” to protect the future of Linux
> > and Open Source. OIN was created with the support of Red Hat, IBM, Philips,
> > NEC, Sony and Novell to foster a safe software patent environment for
> > producers and users of Linux. Ever since we have expanded  to lot of more of
> > open source covering now 2335 packages.
> >
> > Today we have almost 1800 participants who have stepped forward to support
> > patent non-aggression through our community, ranging from OpenWrt to Ubuntu
> > to Liferay to Mirantis to NGiNX to KDE to Mozilla to Python.
> >
> > CeroWrt, as many of our members, is an active contributor to the Linux
> > kernel. Therefore we want to invite your project too to join our software
> > patent non-aggression pact.
> >
> > Our community is free to join. The only thing we want is a pledge that
> > CeroWrt would never use patents aggressively against other participants in
> > the broader definition of the Linux System. Of course it never will, but it
> > can also be very useful for the users of the code and services of yours when
> > they see the way to protect themselves from aggression through you taking
> > part of our community.
> >
> > By joining OIN you will not only help building a no-fly-zone around Linux
> > and open source, it is pragmatic to secure your rights to OIN's and
> > participants' intellectual property assets as part of a comprehensive risk
> > mitigation strategy, as you will obtain free, unrestricted worldwide license
> > to all hundreds of thousands of Linux related patents of the OIN members.
> > Plus around 1000 very basic OIN owned patents addressing various open source
> > technologies like cloud, PHP, eCommerce, biometrics, apps building,
> > embedded, etc. You will get it all for free and forever, with the only
> > obligation in return - not to attack other members around the Linux System.
> >
> > It is an excellent opportunity for CeroWrt to position itself effectively
> > with regards to Linux and broader open source technology. You would be
> > joining the community consisting not only of the hardest proponents of open
> > source technology, but also patent-centric companies such as Fujitsu, Check
> > Point, Vodafone, LG and HTC in perceiving tremendous benefit from engagement
> > and understand the importance of open innovation.
> >
> > You may be interested in some credentials and in getting more context about
> > our work. Here is an endorsement from Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the
> > Linux Foundation:
> > http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/blogs/browse/2009/09/protecting-linux-microsoft-yes-microsoft-got-caught
> >
> > Here from Eben Moglen, Chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center:
> > http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/now/organizations/OIN
> >
> >
> > This is all about building a community intended to get the software patent
> > aggression out of this world, with the idea behind: when everybody pledges
> > peace, there will be no wars. We are passionate supporters of open
> > innovation. I hope we will be able to welcome CeroWrt to our non-aggression
> > community. Every single voice helps us counteract patent aggression and
> > build on a more collaborative future.
> >
> > Attached is a very short overview of OIN + FAQs, but I am happy to answer
> > any questions and to explain in more detail what we do.
> >
> > Can you discuss this with the team and let me know what you guys think? May
> > you decide positively there is a possibility to sign in online:
> >
> > http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/joining-oin/license-agreement/
> >
> >
> > Best regards,
> > Valer Mischenko,
> > Open Invention Network
> >
> > www.openinventionnetwork.com
> --
> Dave Täht
> Do you want faster, better, wifi? https://www.patreon.com/dtaht

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