[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org>] Re: Debian & BSD concerns

Bruce Sass writes:
> As a worst case scenario, a patent could be like a `revoke-on-a-whim'
> clause in a license.

But a patent isn't "in" a copyright license.  Patent and copyright are
orthogonal.  Are you assuming that the patent owner and the author of a
work that implements that patent must be one and the same?  Not true.

> Simply because it is not at all clear what would happen if a party and a
> patent holder stood in front of a judge, and the party was trying to
> argue that the patent holder can not set the terms of the license.

What isn't clear?  The owner of the patent gets to set the terms under
which he will license it.  That is what it means to have a patent.  He has
no say in the terms of the copyright license of a work which implements his
patent unless he is also the author of that work, of course.

> To take it a step further, since the outcome of the above conflict would
> not necessarily be the same in all jurisdictions,...

What conflict?

> ...it could be argued that the license may not always be the same for
> everyone.

I don't follow you.  The licenses on any piece of IP are only the same for
everyone if the owner has chosen to make them so.

> Is a patent a one way ticket into non-free?

Only if the patent owner is also the copyright owner, and refuses to freely
license the patent.  See the NPL for an example of how to deal with this.
John Hasler                This posting is in the public domain.
john@dhh.gt.org		   Do with it what you will.
Dancing Horse Hill         Make money from it if you can; I don't mind.
Elmwood, Wisconsin         Do not send email advertisements to this address.

Reply to: