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

Re: Proposed Apache license & patent/reciprocity issues

On 2003-11-14 02:21:18 +0000 Walter Landry <wlandry@ucsd.edu> wrote:

Unfortunately, you have precedent against you.  The IBM Common Public
License has just such a clause

It seems that this particular aspect (actions unrelated to the work affecting the right to use the work) was not covered in previous discussions at http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/1999/debian-legal-199906/msg00213.html

Maybe only revoking grants "under this License" was considered the saving grace? Can anyone give a reference with that conclusion? I can't find it. The other possibility is that people misread "this software" in place of "software". Are licences which discriminate against people engaged in unrelated legal action against you DFSG-free? (I am looking at 5 and 9.)

While considering that, I noticed something that seems odd. There seems to be nothing to prevent a litigator from obtaining a new copy of the software and using that instead. The new patent licence grant isn't conditional on not currently suing IBM, and I think that would fail DFSG 5 if it did. The terminations all seem to be from date of filing, so can they cover grants made after that date? That's probably one for the lawyers, but it seems to make the termination clauses a no-op as long as the software is still actively distributed.

I think people are a lot more savvy about patent-related problems now than they were 4 years ago, but it would be a pain to fix this now if we got it wrong. I think that ideally there should be seperate copyright and patent licence sections. Probably the best we can do is *ask* new licences to split them, but deal with combined ones as best we can. (And EUropeans should follow http://swpat.ffii.org/ and lobby their lawmakers.)

I find it interesting that copyright licences that try to enforce patent terms seem to have been welcomed by d-l subscribers in the past.

MJR/slef     My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
Please http://remember.to/edit_messages on lists to be sure I read
http://mjr.towers.org.uk/ gopher://g.towers.org.uk/ slef@jabber.at
 Creative copyleft computing services via http://www.ttllp.co.uk/

Reply to: