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Re: Taking a position on anti-patent licenses (was ' Re: Bug#289856: mdnsresponder: Wrong license')

Josh Triplett <josh.trip@verizon.net> wrote:

> However, many software licenses choose to go further than that,
> requiring that distributors refrain entirely from engaging in patent
> lawsuits against any authors of the software, regardless of whether
> those lawsuits are related to the software or not.  We do not support
> the practice of patenting software, but we find it unacceptable for
> licenses to place requirements which pertain to other, independent
> works.  We believe this policy is consistent with the principles behing
> in Debian Free Software Guideline 9, "License Must Not Contaminate Other
> Software".

There are two types of clause that fall into this catagory, and I think
it's helpful to distinguish between them. The first terminates your
patent license if you sue for unrelated patent issues, and the second
terminates your copyright license. Earlier discussion on -project seemed
to suggest that people were more or less happy with the first, and less
happy with the second.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59-chiark.mail.debian.legal@srcf.ucam.org

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