Subject: Re: termless copyright and patents
From: Thomas Lord <lord@emf.net>
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 11:01:06 -0700

stephen@xemacs.org wrote:
> See my example of Prog3.  I do not think there is any reasonable
> middle ground between restricting GPL-enabled practice of a patent to
> the claims actually embodied in the conveyed work, and full
> expropriation of all patents owned by the conveyor of a GPLed work,
> because it is trivial to derive a program from Prog1 and Prog3
> simultaneously.
>   

It's very simple.    Make a big pile of all published papers, programs
etc. at the time of Alice's patent grant.    This is all of the prior art
that limits Alice's patent claims.

Photocopy everything so, now, you have two piles.

Label the pile on the left "proprietary use prior art".   That pile
never changes.

Label the pile on the left "GPL use prior art".

Now, every time that Alice conveys a program, add that program
to the pile on the right.

In deciding if a proprietary program  infringes on a patent of Alice's,
use the pile on the left.   In deciding if a GPL program infringes on a
patent of Alice's, use the pile on the right.

In other words, the validity of Alice's patents is made different
for GPL programs by Alice's act of conveying a GPL program.

-t