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Re: AROS License DFSG ok?

Michael Poole wrote:
> Gürkan Sengün <gurkan@linuks.mine.nu> writes:
>>Is the AROS license DFSG ok?
> Likely problems:
>>     8.2.  If You initiate litigation by asserting a patent
>>     infringement claim (excluding declatory judgment actions)
>>     against Initial Developer or a Contributor (the Initial
>>     Developer or Contributor against whom You file such action is
>>     referred to as "Participant") alleging that:
>>     (a) such Participant's Contributor Version directly or
>>     indirectly infringes any patent, then any and all rights
>>     granted by such Participant to You under Sections 2.1 and/or
>>     2.2 of this License shall, upon 60 days notice from Participant
>>     terminate prospectively, unless if within 60 days after receipt
>>     of notice You either: (i) agree in writing to pay Participant a
>>     mutually agreeable reasonable royalty for Your past and future
>>     use of Modifications made by such Participant, or (ii) withdraw
>>     Your litigation claim with respect to the Contributor Version
>>     against such Participant.  If within 60 days of notice, a
>>     reasonable royalty and payment arrangement are not mutually
>>     agreed upon in writing by the parties or the litigation claim
>>     is not withdrawn, the rights granted by Participant to You
>>     under Sections 2.1 and/or 2.2 automatically terminate at the
>>     expiration of the 60 day notice period specified above.
> Some people believe that this kind of termination clause violates the

This particular termination clause is less problematic than most: it
only terminates your rights to the software if you sue *claiming that
the software infringes your patent*.  Most of the termination clauses
people have problems with terminate your rights for any patent-related
suit, not necessarily related to the software; for example, clause (b)
below. :)

>>     (b) any software, hardware, or device, other than such
>>     Participant's Contributor Version, directly or indirectly
>>     infringes any patent, then any rights granted to You by such
>>     Participant under Sections 2.1(b) and 2.2(b) are revoked
>>     effective as of the date You first made, used, sold,
>>     distributed, or had made, Modifications made by that
>>     Participant.
> I read this as meaning that a lawsuit claiming any patent infringement
> by a Participant not related to the software terminates the patentee's
> license, which seems unreasonable.

This clause does indeed seem to terminate your patent license from that
one participant if you sue that participant over any patent, which is
far stronger than the previous clause, and possibly problematic (though
still better than clauses that terminate the copyright license).

I think (a) is not a problem at all, but (b) might be.

- Josh Triplett

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