The true legal vulnerability of Linux

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A recent focus on the problem of software patents raises the question: could Linux be sued off the face of the Earth?

The not-so-random thought came up this weekend when I read the New York Time's special report, "The Patent, Used as Sword." This article, which I highly recommend you read when you get a chance, comprehensively examines the broad landscape of software patents without really coming down too hard on one side or the other. It does, I should add, leave you with the sense that something is wonky with this whole idea that billions can be spent and companies can go down just because one side's lawyers are quicker on the draw than others.

If I were the uncharitable type, I would say that this is also the article that shows where The Times finally gets a clue, but that's not really the case.

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