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Re: OSD && DFSG - different purposes

Scripsit Walter Landry <wlandry@ucsd.edu>

> > which I take to mean that one who accepts the license must effectively
> > give Apple a royalty-free license to use each an every patent he
> > controls.

> FYI, the IBM Common Public License [1], which has been approved for
> Debian, has a similar clause which reads:

>   If Recipient institutes patent litigation against a Contributor with
>   respect to a patent applicable to software (including a cross-claim
>   or counterclaim in a lawsuit), then any patent licenses granted by
>   that Contributor to such Recipient under this Agreement shall
>   terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.

I don't think it's exactly paralllel case. First, it's only software
patents that trigger the clause - though whether that is restricting
enough is still open to discussion.

Second, the thing that terminates in the IBM case is not the
copyright license but only the patent licenses. Traditionally we're
turning the blind eye to patent issues when applying the DFSG (because
patents can strike unexpectedly and many software patents would not
hold up to an attempt to enforce them), so the clause only talks about
revoking rights that we're usually not insisting on having explicltiy
granted at all.

I dimly recall that the test we applied in the IBM was: If the patent
licence grant and its associated termination clause were deleted from
the license, would it then be free? The answer was "yes", and the
license should not become less free by granting more rights, even if
those extra rights apply only in limited cases.

Henning Makholm                         "Al lykken er i ét ord: Overvægtig!"

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