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From Steve Loughran <ste...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Google has obtained the patent over mapreduce
Date Thu, 21 Jan 2010 10:29:54 GMT
Edward Capriolo wrote:
> I was just mentioning that in the sco linux suit , comanies that were
> using linux as a fileserver or ftp server were targeted, not only
> companies that developed packaged linux.
> 
> Relying on a corporation to be  benevolant, is a risk in itself. A
> change in management could cause a change in policy.
> 
> a decision maker might avoid hadoop as it is more risky to deploy now.
> In particular if that company was in some way competitive to google.
> 

SCO sued people who had bought Unix source code licenses and threatened 
end-users of linux over copyright. No patent lawsuits, just doomed 
copyright T&Cs.

Generally those companies that want to work with open source don't waste 
time trying to enforce patents because its a losing battle. You lose a 
lot of goodwill, and when you consider that the Android stack is built 
on truckloads of Apache and other open source java code, the loss of 
that goodwill can be quite significant. Add in that Google is a platinum 
sponsor of apache, and you can see the conflicts of interest that will 
develop.

I have no idea what they will do with the MR patent, but note that the 
ASF license says "Sue someone over some apache code you have a patent 
for and you lose the right to use that apache code yourself". While 
Google don't use Hadoop internally, they have been using it for their 
academic testbed.

Finally, I don't think the patent applies outside the US, and if they 
published before filing, its harder to get an EU/UK patent. So host your 
code here in europe and not only are you free from this patent concern, 
your customers benefit from your requirement to follow EU data 
protection laws. Everyone wins.

-Steve

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