Subject: Re: Patent-based dual-licensing open source business model
From: simo <>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 10:45:54 -0400

On Tue, 2006-09-12 at 07:01 -0700, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> I'm interested in the reactions of this group to a new patent-based
> dual-licensing open source business model adopted by International
> Characters.

The use of this kind of licensing has always interested me.
Your license, it seems to me, make me, personally, impossible to use any
software I modify (even just to fix a bug, or to change a preference
that make sense only to me) without releasing the source code in the
public, and stay legal. It also strangles any little service company
that want to try to help their customers by selling pre-configured
hardware without making any relevant modification to the software except
customizing the configuration.

While I can understand and probably even favor the idea of making
royalties against proprietary code, I think that blocking use of
internally modified software or software completely public but
distributed with hardware violates the very nature of free software.

I'd would be interested in a license that would outlaw Tivoization by
using patents, but not just the bundling of Free Software in hardware in

Also a big problem of this license is that I think it is incompatible
with GPLv2 section 7 (and may also incompatible with GPLv3 section 11)
as you are forbidding free use/modification/distribution of GPLv3 code
when this distribution happens to be performed by embedding said
software in a hardware device.

Section 11 of GPLv3 in it's actual form seems to allow such a patenting
scheme under second paragraph point (2) of section 11, but I honestly
think it is an oversight, as it seem rather strange to me that a
copyleft license allows such a huge restriction on use and distribution
of a covered work. It seems to me that this point has been intended to
cover the situation where you are not the patent holder and you cannot
rather than wish not grant a patent license. This aspect definitively
need more investigation.

Thanks for sharing your document, it is a rather interesting topic.