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Re: Open Software License v2.1

Brian Thomas Sniffen wrote:

> Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu> writes:
>> For example, imagine a license which said any attempt to sue over
> Oops, left part out.  This should say something like:
> Imagine a license which is just like the patent-terminating-copyright
> license in question, but terminates on any lawsuit over physical
> property.  So if you're using my software which is written under this
> license, and you sue to get me out of your house or to give back your
> car, you lose the rights to the software.

You're going irrelevant again.
In this case, the suit absolutely must be regarding the software.
We all agree that license termination over *irrelevant* suits is non-free.

Perhaps you want "you sue me to get me to give back the disk containing the
software I wrote, which disk I stole from you?"

> Surely that's not free, no matter how badly I believe property rights
> are a great evil -- but I can imagine a world where the
> rented-hardware model continued to dominate the industry, and some
> here might argue that rejection of that model is necessary for free
> software.  The physical-property-entangling license is only obviously
> not-free because it's not our crusade, it's from an alternate
> universe.
> So how is this patent-license business different from a license to use
> physical property?  This is still just an attempt to blackmail
> pre-existing property rights away from users of your software.
No, it's not.  It says "If you try to enforce your 'property rights' against
this work, then you don't get to use my 'property rights' in this work."
Very specific, very focused on the particular work.

I could phrase a more general version as "I grant you a license to use this
work under the (copyright) rights I have in it, provided you also grant a
license to use this work under the (patent) rights *you* happen to have in

Actually, this might be a better way to put it: "You may copy, distribute,
etc. this work... provided that you grant a royalty-free license to all
members of the public to use, in this original program and its derivative
works, any patents you have which are necessarily infringed by using this
original program.  This is the only thing which grants you rights to copy,
distribute, etc. this work, so by doing to you are assumed to be granting
this patent license."

(What you were describing is the "terminate on unrelated lawsuit" version,
which we all agree is non-free.)

> It's 
> critically different from a copyleft, because there there isn't a
> pre-existing property right.
Actually, yes there is: it's called copyright.  The default in copyright law
is that a derivative work can only be published with the argreement of the
work's actual author *and* the authors of all works of which it is a
derivative work.

Copyleft does have a similarity.  I could phrase it as "I grant you a
license to use this work under all the rights I have in it, provided you
also grant an identical license to use your *distributed derivative works*
under all the rights you have in them."
It's actually a stronger exchange.

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