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Re: Taking a position on anti-patent licenses

On Sat, 29 Jan 2005 14:55:17 -0500 Nathanael Nerode wrote:

> There is argument over those clauses which do not impact legitimate 
> non-software patents, but which do impact uses of software patents
> against unrelated software.  I think many of us consider these to
> "contaminate other software", or to fail the "first, do no harm" test
> (in the case of "defensive patent lawsuits" unrelated to the software
> at hand).

I think that this would be a contamination and thus fail DFSG 9.
Even if I hate software patents, such a "defensive" clause smells as

> However, we have actually seen very few, if any, clauses
> which are really written carefully enough to fall into this category,
> so I suspect we haven't thought about them as carefully as we have
> thought about the other two categories.

That's probably true, but we are thinking about this possibility just

Note: I agree entirely with the rest of your position about anti-patent
If there is consensus among debian-legal partecipants about this
position, I think that one or more FAQ should be added to
http://people.debian.org/~bap/dfsg-faq.html (hi Barak Pearlmutter! are
you listening?): last time I checked, anti-patent clauses were not
treated, IIRC...

          Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
  Francesco Poli                             GnuPG Key ID = DD6DFCF4
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