Subject: Re: termless copyright and patents
From: <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2006 18:09:37 +0900

Thomas Lord writes:

 > 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.

AFAICS, that is almost precisely what GPLv3 section 11 para 1 says.
That is, you can be sued by Alice for any claim not embodied in the
conveyed work.

The difference is that I want the burden of compiling libsection11 to
fall on the community because it's useful and consistent with
copyright law, while you want to simply say that any claim practiced
in any GPL software is automatically available to all GPL software,
which may be more consistent with patent law.

However, Bob still cannot practice others of Alice's claims without
license.