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Re: AROS License DFSG ok?

On Sat, Jan 08, 2005 at 02:22:33PM -0500, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> have the "right" to do something without a license (although we might; 
> it may not be patented), just as we might not have the right to copy a

Or there might be prior art, which means that the patent is without merit.

Typically, relevant prior art will not be in the "easy places to look",
but that's one of the nice things about free software (such as the body
published by Debian) -- it helps establish a rather voluminous and easily
findable record of prior art.

The downside is that Debian isn't really designed to be this kind of
archive -- it will probably be a good place to start looking, but if
you want to find the earliest instance of some algorithm you'll probably
eventually want to head upstream.

And, of course, prior art -- even for "software patents" -- doesn't need
to exist in the form of software.  Debian is just a small part of the
total picture here.


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