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Re: AROS License DFSG ok?

Glenn Maynard <glenn@zewt.org> writes:

> On Sat, Jan 08, 2005 at 10:19:33AM -0800, Josh Triplett wrote:
>> >>>As far as I know, *nobody* thinks that is OK.  For instance, it could be over 
>> >>>Participant's use of your patent for extracting aluminum from ore.
>> >>
>> >>It terminates a right we don't require in the first place. If the patent
>> >>is actively enforced, we potentially have problems - if it isn't, why is
>> >>it more of a problem than a license which didn't grant those permissions
>> >>in the first place?
>> > 
>> > Thus is not just about software patents.  If I have invented a new
>> > Wheel, and microsoft rips me off and begins producing my Wheel, I
>> > would like to sue them to get them to stop.  If they're a Participant
>> > here, I can't do so!  At least, if I do sue them, I lose my copyright
>> > license to this software.
>> Actually, no, you don't.  8.2a says that if you sue a Participant saying
>> *the software* infringes a patent, you lose the entire license.  8.2b
>> says that if you sue a Participant over *any patent*, you lose *only
>> their patent license for the software*.  Hence Matthew's statement that
>> "It terminates a right we don't require in the first place.".

Thanks for the correction, Josh.

> That's an ugly, fuzzy, ill-focused gray area, though.  We do require the rights
> restricted by patents; but in the case where we don't have the right, but the
> restriction isn't being enforced, we grunt and act as though we do.  The ugly
> patent situation seems to make it impossible to treat everything with proper
> consistency.  I don't like a line of reasoning that says "we don't require
> the right to do the things restricted by patents", but at the same time, we
> really don't require explicit patent licenses.

There is a somewhat recursive, but self-consistent, way to deal with
this.  We don't require explicit patent licenses when it appears the
patents aren't being enforced.  Presence of these clauses is excellent
evidence that the patents are being enforced -- or at least no longer
*not* being enforced.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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