I had some word-spew on Twitter about Facebook and their React.JS patent grant and decided to put it into a blog post:
Find it super interesting that the discussion about the React License has boiled down to resharing two Medium articles. The "Paper Tiger" and the "Startups should avoid React" articles. Depending on what you believe reflects which article gets reshared. Unfortunately I think both articles don't concentrate on the point of the patent exemption and why it's a real sticking point for developers and that's this: Facebook is trying to take their software and carve out a competitive edge in the software patent minefield. It's not that Facebook will steal your patents, or that Facebook will make you have to rewrite your software if they compete with you - It's that Facebook is taking a popular library / framework they wrote and are using it to deflect some of their legal pain. They're taking a nominally open source product of theirs and neutering patent lawsuits against Facebook (or at least diffusing them); giving folks pause about using their software patents because they could run afoul of a patent grant. I'm no fan of software patents (I think they're anathema to software development) but Facebook's Patent Grant does not solve the problem - it exacerbates the problems between intellectual property and intellectual freedom. It carves an exemption for Facebook alone. It's disingenuous of Facebook and creates a "I've got mine; sucks to be you" mentality that I find abhorrent in FL/OSS. This is not liberty.