Re: Patent clauses in licenses
On Sun, Sep 19, 2004 at 08:58:03PM -0500, John Hasler wrote:
> I guess I wasn't clear. If the license says that my copyright license will
> be terminated if I take any patent action against the licensor and I sue
> him for infringing my patent on my three-point hitch stabilizer he will
> terminate my license. That's what I mean by hardware patents. Most
> patents have nothing to do with computers or software.
I think there's agreement that licenses which terminate due to action
unrelated to the software is non-free, such as the RPSL.
I don't believe limiting it to software patents is sufficient; at a minimum,
it needs to be restricted to only terminate based on patent action claiming
that the work itself violates a patent, which is what the OSL 2.1 does.
The interesting debates at the moment are whether these narrower clauses
are free in principle, and whether the existing clauses have room for
abuse (making them non-free in practice).
(Not that I'm endorsing this license--I believe it's non-free in a couple