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Re: IBM Public License (again)

MJ Ray wrote:
> On 2004-05-13 03:29:35 +0100 Josh Triplett <josh.trip@verizon.net> wrote:
>> MJ Ray wrote:
>>> To me, it seems clearly non-free because it terminates if there is
>>> legal action against IBM about patents "applicable to" some other
>>> software. [...]
>> [...] This has the effect of a patent
>> cross-license: "Don't sue us over patents and we won't sue you over
>> patents."
> I think your characterisation is a bit off. Doesn't it have the effect:
> "We license you these patents as long as you don't sue us over any
> software patents (even if we sue you over other software patents)."

As opposed to most other licenses, which say nothing about patents, and
therefore imply "We may have patents, and we may sue you at any time
just for using the software."?  If we rule the IBM Public License to be
non-free, then all licenses that say nothing about patents should also
be ruled non-free.

Also, note that this license isn't saying "We license you these patents,
...", but instead "We license you whatever patents we may or may not
have over this software, ...".  Like any other piece of software, it may
or may not be covered by various patents.  I suggest that we should
treat software under this license like all other software in Debian with
respect to patents: ignore the possibility of patent issues unless a
specific patent holder with a specific patent starts getting litigious
about it.

- Josh Triplett

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