IBM is making 500 of its patents available for free to people doing open source projects. Rock on!

From the New York Times:

I.B.M. executives say the company’s new approach to intellectual property represents more than a rethinking of where the company’s self-interest lies. In recent speeches, for example, Samuel J. Palmisano, I.B.M.’s chief executive, has emphasized the need for more open technology standards and collaboration as a way to stimulate economic growth and job creation.

Imagine a big company like IBM actually “getting it.” Almost gives you hope regarding the future of intellectual property (that is, until you read anything about Microsoft or SCO or Disney or just about every other company in the world). Sigh…