Good news for open source: GNOME resolves its dispute with Rothschild Patent Imaging

Shotwell, GNOME and Open Source

Last September, the foundation GNOME was taken to court by a patent troll named Rothschild Patent Imaging. The complaint of the company that had the patent in its possession could not be more absurd: among its allegations it said that they had patented the sending of images without cables, so it should also have denounced other larger companies such as Apple or Google, but he did not dare, probably because of their importance. Yesterday, thank God, all of this became part of the past.

Just like has reported GNOME on its official website, the two parties have reached an agreement. Therefore, GNOME can go ahead with its work on Shotwell, the root of the dispute, and other projects and ensures that it will not be reported by Rothchild Patent Imaging, now or in the future, or that is the intention. And the best part, they will be able to continue doing it as they did until now, that is, creating and launching their software as Open Source. In fact, the patent troll will not sue anyone who uses its patents on open source software, which can be considered a great victory.

GNOME can continue working on Open Source

In this agreement, GNOME receives a release and an agreement not to be sued for any patents held by Rothschild Patent Imaging. In addition, both Rothschild Patent Imaging and Leigh Rothschild are granting a version and agreement to any software that is released under an existing Open Source Initiative approved license (and later versions thereof), including for the entire Rothschild patent portfolio, insofar as said software it is a material part of the allegation of infringement.

Personally, I think that here is something that can be read between the lines: that they have said that they are going to allow their "patents" to be used (let's put it in quotation marks, because yes) the projects that work on Open Source software also means that they have not said nothing about cases in which the software is proprietary, or what is the same, they might be willing to sue other companies for the same reason they sued GNOME. On the other hand, we can also think that they had nothing to do and have preferred to reach an agreement, leaving with their tails between their legs.

Being a patent troll, we can be sure that they will return to the load. And, taking into account some of the points that were included in the lawsuit, I only hope that the next time they decide to sue, it will be Google or Apple. I think we're going to laugh.

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