FAT File System License

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#1
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Hi,

This is slightly OT, but still probably important.

Microsoft has decided to charge a license fee for FAT filesystem (including flash memory cards), see http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/..., as originally featured on Slashdot.

So if you are planning on using the FAT filesystem on a FLASH card for your product...

-Colin

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Geez, aren't they making enough money off their crappy OS and Office products!!!

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If I keep eating any more holiday treats, >>I<< will need a "fat" license.

Lee

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Just another reason to migrate to Linux.

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Just another reason to migrate to Linux.
========================================
Whats the 2nd most popular floppy format next to fat12?

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If Linux uses the FAT file system then somehow someone will have to cough up 25 cents per disk unit.
To avoid it you have to not use any floppy diskettes or drives, get a raw HD that you can low level format maybe (which is really hard to get nowadays) to kill the FAT compatible partition scheme, and boot from ISO formatted CDROM drive. No dual booting, and you can't use a FAT compatible partition schema either. You have to install all Linux and carefully avoid anything that might be FAT compatible.

Of course for 25 cents, I doubt Microsoft would be interested in going after individual users too much, but a business or company they would.

FAT is pretty ubiquitous it's really hard to not use something with it.

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Wouldn't the license fee be included in the purchase price of the flashcard. AFAIK Most of them come preformatted with FAT.

Gerrard

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Hi,

There is a fee both of the device (for pre-formatting) and the thing that uses it.

Seems to be $0.25 for both though.

-Colin

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What's the difference between Microsoft's FAT file system and the FAT based DOS used by CPM?

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Isn't US law wonderful? I suppose authors of trashy novels there are going to enforce royalties not only on the book itself, but also on anyone who is capable of reading it! Assholes.

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Hasn't this been happening for years already? In Europe at least? Charging a fee on blank CD media which _might be_ used for music CD copying?

Anyway M$ doesn't want to charge floppies, HDs etc, only solid state media. Not that this would be less disgusting - much more in fact since they want to make money on consumers electronics that they do not manufacture.

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Hi,

Charging a fee on blank CD media which _might be_ used for music CD copying?

Same in Canada - but its a pretty small fee. Enough that (IMO) having a softer copyright law is worth (personal copies of music is OK).

-Colin

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Looking at the patents listed, it seems focused on short/long filename support in FAT (i.e. 8.3 format + extended filename info). Perhaps that is what they are going, or can go, after as far a licensing?

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Nothing - exept Microsoft's FAT file sustem is called "Microsoft's FAT file system" !!!!

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Sorry

>Author: Grahame ( noemail)
>Date: Dec 5 03, 08:19

>What's the difference between Microsoft's FAT file system and the FAT based >DOS used by CPM?

Nothing - exept Microsoft's FAT file system is called "Microsoft's FAT file system" !!!!

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As noted above, the patents only cover support for long filenames (VFAT), so anyone who use FAT16 with 8.3 filenames shoud be fine... However, FAT16 only works for disks up to 2GB.. Any disk larger than that has to be partitioned into several smaller partitions, or use FAT32. This might be a problem. Do anyone know if Microsoft have any valid patents on FAT32?

This could be a real issue since compact flash carts larger than 2GB are starting to appear on the market.

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This could be a real issue since compact flash carts larger than 2GB are starting to appear on the market

Just as the patent protection issues over GIF lead directly to the patent-free and superior PNG graphics file format, I view this as a big incentive for development of an open-source, simple, scalable file system with long filename support and various other features built in from the start.

(No, I don't have the time! I barely have time to post opinionated rubbish like this, let alone actually *do* anything... ;-)

Sean.

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sellis: There are tons of free file systems out there, the problem is compatibility and interoperability. If you want the customer to be able to use the product together with windows, or any other compact flash enabled device (like cameras, mp3 players, PDA's, and so on) then you have to use MS FAT. It's as simple as that.