Re: New idea for finessing patent issues (was: lame (again!))
begin Barak Pearlmutter quotation of Wed, May 23, 2001 at 05:17:12AM -0600:
> Fortunately we're not actually talking about a *contract* here, just a
> warning. "Be aware, some people claim that there might be a patent
> issue in some uses of this software (patents US7549857398573498,
> US84973549753987538, and US2153987543895473). Use it at your own
> risk. No warranty expressed or implied. You're own your own, son."
This might be appropriate in some cases. But any patent policy should
have promotion of patent reform, not just minimal legal compliance, as
Some software patent holders, such as Unisys, have an unofficial "free
sample" program, where they allow personal and educational use but take
legal actions against business or public use. Participating in such
programs confines free software to hobby use and class projects.
In some situations, whatever the law says, it is a good idea to mess up
the free sample program by refusing to infringe the patent even when the
patent would not hold up in court, or if the chance of being sued is
small. For example, refusing to include GIF-creating tools promotes
patent-free formats, and helps make it possible to use free software
in public or in business.
Other patents, such as the BT patent on hyperlinking, are so ludicrous
that an infringement warning would be appropriate, since it would inform
users about the problems with some countries' patent systems.
Don Marti "I've never sent or received a GIF in my life."
http://zgp.org/~dmarti -- Bruce Schneier, Secrets and Lies, p. 246.
firstname.lastname@example.org Free the Web, burn all GIFs: http://burnallgifs.org/