Subject: Re: termless copyright and patents
From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 17:00:51 -0700
Mon, 25 Sep 2006 17:00:51 -0700
simo wrote:
> On Mon, 2006-09-25 at 13:00 -0700, Thomas Lord wrote:
>
>   
>> For example, IBM may discover that, in shipping Linux systems,
>> they have practiced many of their own patents.   Well, per RMS,
>> those patents would all now be publicly licensed for any purpose
>> whatsoever.
>>     
>
> This is plain FUD and bullshit, sorry.
> Read the license, it doesn't say at all what you say.
>   

You refer, I assume, to section 11 of GPLv3 which sounds superficially
like it limits mandatory patent licensing to covered works.

That section reads, in part:

    If you convey a covered work, knowingly relying
    on a non-sublicensable patent license that is not generally
    available to all, you must either (1) act to shield downstream
    users against the possible patent infringement claims from
    which your license protects you, or (2) ensure that anyone can
    copy the Corresponding Source of the covered work, free of charge
    and under the terms of this License, through a publicly available
    network server or other readily accessible means.


Point (1) is key.

Suppose that IBM is distributing the Linux kernel which
practices a patent from Sun to which IBM has a limited
license contingent upon IBM not suing Sun for violation
of certain other patents.

You receive a copy of that kernel from IBM.

Well, then, practice that patent at will because IBM, not
you, is on the hook.


>   
>>  So, IBM is carving out a narrower license to explain
>> their activities.    And, for example, MSFT would be nuts to try to
>> shut down something like Samba (hypothesizing it must violate some
>> MSFT patent or other) but unless they explain *why* Samba isn't
>> being sued then haven't they, too, implicitly given unrestricted
>> public license?
>>     
>
> Simply put: Samba don't infringe any patent they can successfully defend
> in court.
>
>   

I don't claim that Samba infringes, hence "hypothesizing".

-t




simo wrote:
On Mon, 2006-09-25 at 13:00 -0700, Thomas Lord wrote:

  
For example, IBM may discover that, in shipping Linux systems,
they have practiced many of their own patents.   Well, per RMS,
those patents would all now be publicly licensed for any purpose
whatsoever.
    

This is plain FUD and bullshit, sorry.
Read the license, it doesn't say at all what you say.
  

You refer, I assume, to section 11 of GPLv3 which sounds superficially
like it limits mandatory patent licensing to covered works.

That section reads, in part:

    If you convey a covered work, knowingly relying
    on a non-sublicensable patent license that is not generally
    available to all, you must either (1) act to shield downstream
    users against the possible patent infringement claims from
    which your license protects you, or (2) ensure that anyone can
    copy the Corresponding Source of the covered work, free of charge
    and under the terms of this License, through a publicly available
    network server or other readily accessible means.


Point (1) is key.

Suppose that IBM is distributing the Linux kernel which
practices a patent from Sun to which IBM has a limited
license contingent upon IBM not suing Sun for violation
of certain other patents.

You receive a copy of that kernel from IBM.

Well, then, practice that patent at will because IBM, not
you, is on the hook.


  
 So, IBM is carving out a narrower license to explain
their activities.    And, for example, MSFT would be nuts to try to
shut down something like Samba (hypothesizing it must violate some
MSFT patent or other) but unless they explain *why* Samba isn't
being sued then haven't they, too, implicitly given unrestricted
public license?
    

Simply put: Samba don't infringe any patent they can successfully defend
in court.

  

I don't claim that Samba infringes, hence "hypothesizing".

-t