Feeds

Google vows no patent prosecution for open source cloud tech

Protects Hadoop community, perhaps others in the future

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Google has vowed to not sue users, distributors, or developers of technologies covered by some of its key patents, and has started out by protecting the cloudy Hadoop community.

The Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge was announced by Google on Thursday, and will initially see 10 MapReduce patents receive protection from the Chocolate Factory's lawyers.

"While open platforms have faced growing patent attacks, requiring companies to defensively acquire ever more patents," Google's senior patent counsel Duane Valz wrote in a blog post, "we remain committed to an open Internet – one that protects real innovation and continues to deliver great products and services."

The OPN Pledge guarantees that Google will not "bring a lawsuit or other legal proceeding" against anyone using, developing or distributing free or open source software that relies on tech covered by OPN patents.

The pledge doesn't apply to individuals or organizations that either infringe on patents with hardware or software that is not free or open source, or people who combine free or open source software with special purpose hardware or with software that is not free or open source.

Translation: Google will not go after the open source community, but if people start to take the technology in a proprietary direction, they could find themselves getting a letter from Google's lawyers. And don't even think about making a custom Hadoop appliance.

"We hope the OPN Pledge will provide a model for companies looking to put their own patents into the service of open-source software, which continues to enable amazing innovation," Valz wrote.

Google thinks the OPN Pledge has advantages over other non-aggression patent schemes by other companies. Specifically, Mountain View likes the pledge's transparency, breadth, durability, and defensive protection.

Microsoft made a similar move in the past by protecting the open-source implementation of .NET known as Project Mono. The move saw Redmond make C# and CLI available under an OPN-style scheme named the "Community Promise". Red Hat and IBM have also instituted similar schemes.

The 10 MapReduce patents that fall under the OPN pledge are fundamental to the workings of the Hadoop data-analysis engine, and therefore to the huge community of data fiddlers, wranglers, and prodders who have gathered around the open source platform. Under OPN Pledge protection, developers have another incentive to play around with Hadoop without the threat of a patent lawsuit hovering over their heads. Unless they shoot a suit at Google, that is. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.