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Re: Open Software License v2.1

Scripsit Brian Thomas Sniffen <bts@alum.mit.edu>

> PS You know, I just thought of something.  If these clauses cancelled
> the copyright license to *everybody* as soon as *anybody* *wins* a
> patent lawsuit over the software, I wouldn't mind them so much.

That would spectacularly fail the tentacles-of-evil test.

If the author, Foobar Ltd. happens to be acquired by Evil Megacorp,
E.M. could have one of their other subsidiaries sue Foobar for with a
claim that their xor-cursor patent is violated, and deliberately let
Foobar put up no competent defense at all in court. Poof, everybody's
copyright license is gone.

> It's the cancellation of the license for even seeking impartial
> justice that bothers me.

The situation the clause aims at is one where a patent owner seeks to
gain a monopoly on the original author's work by preventing everybody
else - including the original author himself - from using it. I don't
think "justice", impartial or not, has anything to do with that. My
intuition is that it is fair for free software to say, "if you want to
have a monopoly on implementations of your patented gadget, you have
to write the code yourself".

Henning Makholm                             "In my opinion, this child don't
                                       need to have his head shrunk at all."

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