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Re: [Olga.Caprotti@risc.uni-linz.ac.at: Research Institute for Applications of Computer Algebra: Licenses]

Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> wrote:
> Scripsit Walter Landry <wlandry@ucsd.edu>
> > Henning Makholm <henning@makholm.net> wrote:
> > > | (b) any software, hardware, or device, other than such Participant's
> > > | Contributor Version, directly or indirectly infringes any patent, then
> > > I would consider that "discriminating against a field of endeavor" -
> > > namely the field that consists of making genuinely relevant and
> > > legitimate technical innovations and collect money from patent
> > > licenses.
> > Actually, the IBM public license has a very similar clause
> > 
> >    If Recipient institutes patent litigation against a Contributor
> >    with respect to a patent applicable to software (including a
> There's at least two important differences:
> 1) IBM is only talking about software patents. I'm willing to concede
>    that software patents constitute a much more direct threat to free
>    software than traditional patents.

Why should that matter in your eyes?  The RSA patent was a "genuinely
relevant and legitimate technical innovation".  It wasn't like
hyperlinking or one-click shopping, which were obvious applications of
current technology.

> 2) The only thing that terminates here is patent licences - which is
>    separate from the copyright license spoken about by the DFSG.

If there is a patent on anything in the software, then it amounts to
the same thing.  This is not unlikely, considering the vast panoply of
patents that IBM has.

I'm not actually arguing that these patent agreements are good things.
However, the cat is out of the bag, everyone accepts these licenses as
free (even the FSF), and I don't think objecting to similar conditions
is going to do any good.

Walter Landry

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