Subject: Re: Code acceptance policies/contracts?
From: "Karsten M. Self" <kmself@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 07:59:35 +0000

Mark Shewmaker wrote:
> 
> On Mon, Nov 15, 1999 at 08:38:18AM +0000, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > I'm interested in knowing what kinds of code acceptance policies
> > existing FSBs have, particularly if they're based on older licenses such
> > as GPL and BSD which don't have patent and trademark specific language
> > (unlike, say, MozPL, the IBM PSL, and the Apple license).
> 
> My understanding is that if a patent-holder incorporates patents
> into GPL code they distribute, the GPL requires them to license
> the patents for everyone's use.  (Or more specifically, if they
> don't, they're not really distributing under the GPL.)
> 
> >From the GPL:
> 
> |  Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software
> |patents.  We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free
> |program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the
> |program proprietary.  To prevent this, we have made it clear that any
> |patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all.
> |
> |For example, if a patent
> |license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
> |all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
> |the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
> |refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.
> 
> (BTW, I'm still working on www.openpatents.org.)

Interesting.  So if a company distributes GPLd software without granting
patent rights, it's committed copyright violation in the act of
distributing any source for which it itself isn't the copyright holder? 
I think this is what I'm reading.  You?

Thoughts from the crowd? 

-- 
Karsten M. Self (kmself@ix.netcom.com)
    What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?

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