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Re: A possible GFDL compromise

David B Harris <david@eelf.ddts.net> writes:

> On Fri, 22 Aug 2003 16:25:27 -0400
> bts@alum.mit.edu (Brian T. Sniffen) wrote:
>> David B Harris <david@eelf.ddts.net> writes:
>> > Less likely, though I certainly wouldn't say it's impossible, is a judge
>> > ruling that without providing electricity, a working computer with a CD
>> > reader, and a technician to operate it and read the words aloud,
>> > distributing the documentation on a standard ISO9660 CD is in violation
>> > of the license.
>> >
>> > (Yes, the above is a deliberately silly example. It's obsurd. If a judge
>> > did maintain that position, we would all think the judge is nuts. But
>> > there are judges that are nuts when it comes to technology - a LOT of
>> > them. The example is meant to show a flaw in the GFDL.)
>> Actually, isn't there a complicated set of trademark and patent claims
>> preventing manufacture of a CD reader without paying money to Phillips
>> and some trade organizations?  This may not be that ridiculous.
> (s/obsurd/absurd/, BTW :)
> You mean if Phillips is the distributor? That's certainly what the
> clause in the GFDL is supposed to prevent (people making proprietary
> formats, charging for access to them or their decoders, then releasing
> GFDL'd documentation under that format), so perhaps.
> I don't know the details about the CD market though :)

No.  There's a consortium of companies, led by Phillips, which hold
the trademarks on CDDA, CD-ROM, CD-R, "Compact Disc", and a pool of
patents applicable to making compact discs and the devices to
manipulate them.  I can't just burn a disc and sell it with the CDDA
logo on the side, nor can I make a machine which plays CDs and sell it
as a CD player.  Or rather, if I do, Phillips and the CD Consortium
will sue me.


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