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posted by takyon on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:16AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the ten-years-too-late dept.

Microsoft today announced that it:

is supporting the addition of Microsoft's exFAT technology to the Linux kernel.

Microsoft has published the exFAT file system specification on its Windows Dev Center site.

While the code remains under copyright, Microsoft also stated that the exFAT code incorporated into the Linux kernel will be available under GPLv2.

We also support the eventual inclusion of a Linux kernel with exFAT support in a future revision of the Open Invention Network's Linux System Definition, where, once accepted, the code will benefit from the defensive patent commitments of OIN's 3040+ members and licensees.

It is noteworthy that there is already a free and open source exFAT driver available for FreeBSD and multiple Linux distributions, but it is not an official part of the Linux kernel due to the patent encumbrance of exFAT.

Also at TechCrunch and VentureBeat.


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  • (Score: 5, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:34AM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:34AM (#887158)

    Linux should add extensions to exFat to make it more usable, like symlink support and xattr.

    • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:42AM (2 children)

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:42AM (#887181)

      agreed.

      also, I'd like it to have a parser.

      just so we could call it lexFAT ;)

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 2) by pvanhoof on Thursday August 29 2019, @11:36AM

        by pvanhoof (4638) on Thursday August 29 2019, @11:36AM (#887238) Homepage

        You think we'd also need a yafscc, yet another file system compiler compiler to shave?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:17PM (#887419)

        Don't forget that it needs YAML and Blockchain added.

    • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:35AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:35AM (#887190)

      If you don't need it (like, you don't use windows on any of your systems) there is no real need to use it. Plenty of other good enough filesystems that have those features. Also, MS will probably not back port those features to their own systems, so what's the real use of these features then?

      If MS would open up NTFS... that would be way more interesting than this.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:25PM (3 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:25PM (#887385) Journal

        <no-sarcasm>
        At work I use Windows. But personally, I do not now nor never have owned a Windows PC. Just because I prefer Linux for my personal computing doesn't mean that all my friends also use Linux. Or Mac. I still have to interact with people using other platforms. So ExFAT is sometimes handy because it is like a 'rosetta stone' format. While FAT32 may be much more common, it has severe limitations these daze.
        </no-sarcasm>

        --
        Employers should not mandate wearing clothing. It should be a personal choice. It only affects me. Junk can't breathe!
        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:27PM (1 child)

          by HiThere (866) on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:27PM (#887426) Journal

          Yes, but...

          This is MS making the offer. I'd be extremely skeptical, and require a pledge not only of patent free access, but of full indemnification against some 3rd party making patent claims. MS has long been known to transfer patents to "3rd parties" with the requirement that MS has full rights to continue using them.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday August 29 2019, @09:25PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 29 2019, @09:25PM (#887500) Journal

            I completely agree. I don't trust Microsoft any further than I can throw Donald Trump.

            I would count my fingers after shaking hands just to be sure I'm not missing any.

            Nonetheless, ignoring patents, I sometimes have found it convenient, from time to time, to use exFAT to move files between myself and some non-Linux user whose system wouldn't know anything about ext4 or whatever.

            --
            Employers should not mandate wearing clothing. It should be a personal choice. It only affects me. Junk can't breathe!
        • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Friday August 30 2019, @09:13AM

          by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Friday August 30 2019, @09:13AM (#887688)

          I've had good luck using the UDF file system on my USB drives, Linux and Win both support it on most installs and it can handle large files and long files names without issues.

          --
          "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by rylyeh on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:51AM (23 children)

    by rylyeh (6726) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {htadak}> on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:51AM (#887161)

    I watched the changing of the guard at MSFT. Canonical brought their game. Now, many MSFT components are now being built in Linux, especially for Azure.
    Oh, and Ballmer is still an idiot.

    --
    "a vast crenulate shell wherein rode the grey and awful form of primal Nodens, Lord of the Great Abyss."
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:56AM (4 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:56AM (#887162) Journal

      Check out the Beta News headline if you dare: https://betanews.com/2019/08/28/microsoft-linux-exfat/ [betanews.com]

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @04:35AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @04:35AM (#887170)

        Lol, they typo'ed baitingnews in their url.

      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:06PM (2 children)

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:06PM (#887302) Journal

        Ewww! Gag me with a coke spoon!

        Microsoft deserves a collective "thank you" from the Linux community today.

        Who are these people?

        --
        Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:55PM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:55PM (#887323) Journal

          I think I've seen some OK articles there before, but that author seems very cringe:

          https://betanews.com/author/brianfagioli/ [betanews.com]

          The majority of people in the world are illiterate -- including myself. No, I am not talking about being unable to read or write English or another language, but instead, the inability to code.

          [...] Microsoft will unveil new Surface devices in October, and Apple should be worried

          [...] Want a 120-inch 8K display with 5G connectivity? Sharp's got you, fam

          [...] Another day, another Linux distribution. Yeah, it can get a bit tedious reading about so many operating systems based on the open source kernel, so here at BetaNews we typically try to inform you about the better ones. You see, there are many garbage Linux distributions that can simply be ignored -- they are either low-quality or overly redundant. Ultimately, it all becomes noise, harming the Linux community overall. Yes, having too much choice can be a negative.

          [...] GNOME is undeniably the best desktop environment, but understandably, not everyone likes it. Hey, that's OK. Some folks like Pepsi despite Coke being, like, 1,000 times better. Such is life. Thankfully, with Linux, there are plenty of environments from which to choose, such as Xfce, Cinnamon, and KDE to name a few.

          [...] Linux Journal shuts down, because cheapskate Linux users don't spend money

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Thursday August 29 2019, @04:25PM

            by fustakrakich (6150) on Thursday August 29 2019, @04:25PM (#887343) Journal

            The author's name was chosen to fit his work... Eh, everybody's a comic.

            --
            Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by PartTimeZombie on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:57AM (17 children)

      by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:57AM (#887163)

      I wonder what Microsoft's end game is here. I assume its the old embrace, extend, extinguish like they have done in the past, but I wonder if they are powerful enough to do that anymore?

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:10AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:10AM (#887174)

        A quick check on Wikipedia says that exFAT was introduced in 2006, so it has at most 2 years of patent protection in the United States. Sounds like they are just buying some goodwill and maybe longevity for a product nearing the end of its usefulness.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @02:14PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @02:14PM (#887284)

          A quick check on Wikipedia says that exFAT was introduced in 2006, so it has at most 2 years of patent protection in the United States

          I don't understand how you come to this 2 year number. Current United States patent law is that patents last 20 years from the first filing date.

          In principle patents can be filed up to 1 year after public disclosure of an invention, so the presumed date where all relevant exfat patents should be expired (at least for the original implementation) is ca. 2027.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by canopic jug on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:38AM (12 children)

        by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:38AM (#887180) Journal

        The end game is the same as before: EEE.

        Notice that M$ has avoided releasing any of the patents, and that the format itself is useless in a modern context. That tells more than anything else about what their goals are. The only thing that ends patent liability is time. M$ keeps changing and patenting the FAT series to keep the patents active. Unlike with trademarks, it is perfectly legal to let patented technology spread until people are dependent on it and then, only then, demand full payment at a price of their own choosing.

        Besides, exfat is possiby the worst, least appropriate file format in existence. Its very design is so bad it is almost as if it is intended to lose data, especially with large files. If M$ were serious about showing any change in regards to its treatment of FOSS, one of the things it could and should do would be to roll out FULL support for EXT4 or maybe also OpenZFS for its whole product line and then push as hard as it did for exfat to get those better formats into the market.

        tldr; submarine patents [moneyterms.co.uk]

        --
        Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:04AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:04AM (#887184)

          This is the right answer. ExFAT is terrible. If MS actually wants interoperability it should go both ways, and EXT4 should be treated as a first class citizen in Windows.

          I'm not holding my breath.

          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:13AM (1 child)

            by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:13AM (#887188) Journal

            2-128 TB SDUC and microSDUC use exFAT by default. So it's probably a good thing to have that support ready.

            --
            [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:57AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:57AM (#887196)

              In order to certify that your product is SDXC (finalized circa 2009) compatible you have to support exFAT in a default configuration. That is why many SBCs, especially the bigger targets, don't advertise their support for that format, despite being electrically compatible. They have to reformat the card with another file system, and thus violate the specification.

              Note also that vanilla/HC/XC/UC capacity distinction is different than having the UHS bus available because cards are supposed to be backwards compatible to the old bus at slower speeds.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by c0lo on Thursday August 29 2019, @07:01AM (8 children)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 29 2019, @07:01AM (#887198) Journal

          Notice that M$ has avoided releasing any of the patents,

          Almost, but not quite here, nor there.

          From TFMicrosoftAnnouncement link, with my emphasis:

          We also support the eventual inclusion of a Linux kernel with exFAT support in a future revision of the Open Invention Network’s Linux System Definition, where, once accepted, the code will benefit from the defensive patent commitments of OIN’s 3040+ members and licensees.

          Just a vague promise that "will eventually include the exFAT in the Open Invention Network at an unspecified time in the future, so that you'll not have to worry about them patents".

          The only rational reaction that I see is: "You first release it in Open Invention Network and only then we'll include it into the Linux Kernel"

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by canopic jug on Thursday August 29 2019, @10:02AM (7 children)

            by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 29 2019, @10:02AM (#887223) Journal

            The only rational reaction that I see is: "You first release it in Open Invention Network and only then we'll include it into the Linux Kernel"

            That's unlikely given current and past activities. M$ is going to continue holding on to those software patents until they expire. Here's what one of the LWN participants with relevant domain expertise had to say:

            Linux support for the exFAT filesystem has had a long and troubled history; Microsoft has long asserted patents in this area that have prevented that code from being merged into the kernel. Microsoft has just changed its tune, announcing that upstreaming exFAT is now OK: "It’s important to us that the Linux community can make use of exFAT included in the Linux kernel with confidence. To this end, we will be making Microsoft’s technical specification for exFAT publicly available to facilitate development of conformant, interoperable implementations. We also support the eventual inclusion of a Linux kernel with exFAT support in a future revision of the Open Invention Network’s Linux System Definition, where, once accepted, the code will benefit from the defensive patent commitments of OIN’s 3040+ members and licensees."

            https://lwn.net/Articles/797621/rss [lwn.net]

            It's also likely that they'll just make a slight modification and refile at the USPTO to get another 17+ years for nothing. From a performance perspective, as well as for other technical reasons, the exFAT file system is garbage and needs to go. Using exFAT as a vehicle to injevt M$ software patents into the kernel isn't showing that the company has any intention of reforming. Once in the kernel, M$ has the legal right, in the US, to require payment from anyone using Linux. Such are patents.

            If M$ wanted to show support for Free and Open Source Software, it would actually support it. In this discussion, adding EXT4 support would do that. Or even EXT2 support would be a good move. Both are worlds better than exFAT. Or another area of improvement would be to actually support the Open Document Format instead of continuing to break it and undermine its use. Neither will happen any time soon if at all because that would cede control and this fight is about control of the computers more than it is about money.

            --
            Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @01:55PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @01:55PM (#887271)

              I think this is prompted by the fact that they are making much of their money off the SAS Azure system.

              Many of the VMs in that system are running Linux, and customers are asking for better integration. They seem to recognize that listening to customers might actually be a good idea. It helps that they are competing with Amazon in this space.

            • (Score: 2) by Pino P on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:34PM (3 children)

              by Pino P (4721) on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:34PM (#887313) Journal

              Once in the kernel, M$ has the legal right, in the US, to require payment from anyone using Linux.

              Threatening a patent infringement suit against users of Linux would appear to cost Microsoft the right to distribute Linux to its Azure subscribers:

              For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

              • (Score: 3, Touché) by hendrikboom on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:14PM (1 child)

                by hendrikboom (1125) on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:14PM (#887414) Homepage Journal

                Would the patent interfere with distribution or with use?

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:54PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:54PM (#887435)

                  Both. That section of the GPL gives two options to distributors. They can either stop using it all together, or rip out that modification from the GPL program. Even though Microsoft can grant the use to their direct customers, they have to also grant it to everybody those customers could give it (which ends up meaning everyone on the planet due to GPL's viral nature) in order to comply with the GPL.

                  As for users, if they get and use a kernel with exFAT in it without getting the patent license, then they are directly infringing the patent and can't use the software anyway. If they use the kernel with a patent license, but cannot transfer or sublicense that licence to everyone, then you are in violation of Section 7 of the GPL and cannot use said software at all.

              • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Friday August 30 2019, @07:00PM

                by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Friday August 30 2019, @07:00PM (#887871)

                Threatening a patent infringement suit against users of Linux would appear to cost Microsoft the right to distribute Linux to its Azure subscribers:

                As if that would stop them. This is Microsoft we are talking about, they have the legal and financial resources to drag any court case arising from their violating the GPL on for decades.

                And lets be honest, there aren't any GNU/Linux or GPL supporting organizations that have the resources to match Microsoft's in a long fight.

                --
                "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
            • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Thursday August 29 2019, @09:56PM (1 child)

              by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 29 2019, @09:56PM (#887511) Journal

              > the exFAT file system is garbage and needs to go.

              This. A long time ago, I tested the performance of a bunch of file systems. There were only slight variations between ext[234], xfs, zfs, btrfs, and a few others. But FAT (FAT32) stood out as much, much slower than all the rest. exFAT supposedly has some performance improvements.

              Plain copying of critical data, as FAT does by having a duplicate File Allocation Table, is the most brain dead simple, wasteful, and ineffective way to guard against errors in the data. Any interruption during a write, such as by a power failure or removal of the medium, can unrecoverably corrupt a FAT file system more easily than just about any other file system. Then there's the hard size limits. From the 8.3 limit on the names from way back in the day, to the FAT32 4G file size limit and 65K directory entry limit, FAT's limits were always too low, requiring frequent modification as technology exceeded FAT's capacities again and again.

              I have an all-in-one that can write scans to flash drives-- as long as the flash drive is formatted with FAT. But, must be careful. If there is not enough free space left on the flash drive, the device will just keep on writing, paving over critical file system structures, completely borking it.

              If those technical deficiencies aren't enough to get FAT permanently discontinued, there's M$'s long history of leveraging patents on FAT to extort money from others. It's possible FAT's limits were purposely calculated to give M$ the excuse it needed to roll out a few fresh patents on the latest meager expansion of yet another limit. FAT would be dead and gone if it wasn't the default on flash drives, and if M$ Windows supported more than just FAT and NTFS. If we could format a flash drive with ext2, and it would just work in Windows, that would eliminate one of the few reasons left to use FAT. Possibly that would leave thee embedded world as the last holdout.

              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday August 30 2019, @12:09AM

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 30 2019, @12:09AM (#887564) Journal

                From the 8.3 limit on the names from way back in the day, to the FAT32 4G file size limit and 65K directory entry limit, FAT's limits were always too low, requiring frequent modification as technology exceeded FAT's capacities again and again.

                Oh, come on! Are you now gonna tell me 640K is not enough for everyone?

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by rylyeh on Friday August 30 2019, @02:29AM (1 child)

        by rylyeh (6726) <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {htadak}> on Friday August 30 2019, @02:29AM (#887608)

        After spedning untold amounts of $ on code that has to be mostly throw away every 5-10 years, I think they are seeing the writing on the wall.
        Open source is better. Especially now that they are branding themselves a 'service'.

        --
        "a vast crenulate shell wherein rode the grey and awful form of primal Nodens, Lord of the Great Abyss."
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @04:47AM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @04:47AM (#887172)

    Said FreeBSD's exFAT is borked to the bone: FBSD 12 is unable to read USB sticks formatted on PlayStation 4 while a shiny MacBook has no problems with mounting them. And before you ask why would anyone need that: pictures and video transfer/cut/editing. THIS is why I really need Apple, not because of poor GIMP or something.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:13AM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:13AM (#887175)

      Sounds like you are confusing need and convenience. Not that you are not allowed to make your life more convenient, but how much do you really need Sony?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:44AM (#887182)

        It was originally only VR headset what I wanted, to probe the technology and evaluate if it suits for future terminals. And Sony VR is quite hackable and can be connected to common hardware. Some purchased games are fun, though.

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by c0lo on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:47AM (5 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:47AM (#887183) Journal

        Oy! Don't bash Sony! Not now!!
        Who's gonna code and distribute to a large market segment the next commercially supported rootkit?

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by fido_dogstoyevsky on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:56AM (3 children)

          by fido_dogstoyevsky (131) <axehandleNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday August 29 2019, @06:56AM (#887194)

          Oy! Don't bash Sony! Not now!!
          Who's gonna code and distribute to a large market segment the next commercially supported rootkit?

          Commercially? I thought they distributed it as freeware?

          --
          It's NOT a conspiracy... it's a plot.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @03:52PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 30 2019, @03:52PM (#887794)

          Any modern game?

          Don't they all backdoor the system now to "make sure people don't cheat"

          Good thing the software devs can be trusted so they won't upload your documents

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RamiK on Thursday August 29 2019, @08:23AM

    by RamiK (1813) on Thursday August 29 2019, @08:23AM (#887208)

    If it wasn't for the trade ban on Huawei, the Chinese manufacturers wouldn't have started working towards abandoning SDXC in favor of an in-house form factor standard (that doesn't requires licensing Microsoft's exFAT) and Microsoft would never have given up on their little extortion scheme.

    Thank you Mr. President!

    --
    compiling...
  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Thursday August 29 2019, @10:56AM

    by Bot (3902) on Thursday August 29 2019, @10:56AM (#887234) Journal

    Microsoft Wants exFAT in Linux Kernel and fat guy wants exMicrosoft off the Linux kernel (which is, fat guy says, a redundant definition, since userland should have been prefixed if referenced: GNU/Linux, android/Linux, systemd/Lennartux...)

    --
    Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @12:55PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @12:55PM (#887251)

    erm ... if the filesystem doesnt support "users" and "group" and "privileges" then installing a mutiuser OS with a rooot user on it makes no sense ...
    why no "exFAT" like filesystem exists on linux, however, is beyond me.
    there's something good about a "bag that can hold anything" and anyone can open, add and remove stuff from it.
    super quick mount and umount would be cool for it... and drivers for all OSes :)

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Pino P on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:39PM (1 child)

      by Pino P (4721) on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:39PM (#887317) Journal

      The person in physical possession of a removable flash drive or SD card is assumed to have privileges to the underlying block device and therefore privileges to all files stored on the volume. Thus users and groups make little sense with respect to a file system intended for use on removable media. For one thing, if you use a removable flash drive or SD card on more than one machine, the user ID under which you are logged in on one machine is unlikely to match the user ID under which you are logged in on another. This would lock you out of what are ostensibly your own files.

      • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Friday August 30 2019, @02:50AM

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 30 2019, @02:50AM (#887614)

        Thanks. Really informative post. I had never quite put it together in head quite that well.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @01:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @01:53PM (#887269)

    Improve the fuse driver or make it a third party kernel module like ZFS, but never put into the official kernel.

  • (Score: 2) by progo on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:07PM (3 children)

    by progo (6356) on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:07PM (#887303) Homepage

    I think I read somewhere that exFAT is encumbered by at least one software patent of very questionable logical value but presumably solid legal value -- apparently designed for real business to real business patent trolling.

    I don't understand the patent issues as they stand now with exFAT and Linux: are other things in the Linux kernel subject to active patents, and we have come to some kind of cease fire agreement? Is it acceptable to put patented exFAT in the kernel if Microsoft pinky swears that it's okay?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Pino P on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:52PM (2 children)

      by Pino P (4721) on Thursday August 29 2019, @03:52PM (#887322) Journal

      Say you have two modules of a computer program. One ("L") consists of third-party code under the GNU GPL. The other ("E") consists of your own code implementing your own patented process. Say further that you operate a platform ("A") that leases virtual servers to subscribers, and you want to make the combined program available to your subscribers. Copyright prohibits you from doing so unless you follow the terms of the GPL with respect to the combined program. If you are unwilling to uphold your obligations under the GPL to users of L+E who received their copy of L+E through A, directly or indirectly, then under GPL section 7 [gnu.org], you lose your license under copyright to distribute L, and consequently, any owner of copyright in part of L has grounds to sue you for damages and an injunction against distributing L+E to A users.

      Guess what L, E, and A stand for.

      • (Score: 2) by progo on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:41PM (1 child)

        by progo (6356) on Thursday August 29 2019, @05:41PM (#887396) Homepage

        I'm not sure you addressed my question. I said "I don't understand"; not "I don't see a problem."

        I'm asking: is someone suggesting a SOLUTION for bundling code that implements exFAT, and Linux, in the same package? Is there a solution for including non-public-domain patents in ideas in Linux, or is Microsoft just blowing hot air?

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @07:05PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29 2019, @07:05PM (#887440)

          Microsoft can grant the Linux Kernel Organization (or whomever is given ownership rights on Linux) a super-liberal, non-exclusive, use, creation, and distribution patent license that also allows them to freely transfer and sublicense the use of the patent on the same terms. There has been mention of OIN, suggests they are looking to grant a license like that to OIN, which would allow them to sublicense to Linux, which allows them to sublicense to whomever, which allows them to sublicense to whomever, ad infinitum.

          So, you don't technically have to grant a license to everyone from the get go, as long as your licensee who is actually using or distributing can do so.

  • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Sunday September 01 2019, @03:49AM

    by hendrikboom (1125) on Sunday September 01 2019, @03:49AM (#888385) Homepage Journal

    Weird!

    I would have thought that if you had a kernel with the exfat code in it you would only be violating the patent if you actually used it to do anything with an exfat file system.

    -- hendrik

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