Subject: Re: termless copyright and patents
From: simo <s@ssimo.org>
Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2006 17:44:46 -0400

On Fri, 2006-10-06 at 09:12 -0700, Thomas Lord wrote:
> Well, per GPLv3d2 I'm supposed to give up "*all* claims" but what does
> "*all*" mean here?   Well, it is kindly explained, I must give up
> "*all*" claims which would be infringed by making, using, or selling
> the work I conveyed -- no more and no less.

Exactly!

> If my patent reads "#2 ... in a sort program ...." I *can* give
> permission to use the algorithm in any sort program at all -- but I
> can also subdivide my property and give permission, on the one hand,
> for line-based sort programs and, on the other hand, for record-based
> sort programs.   Just like I can give permission to use my antilock
> breaks in passenger cars separately from giving permission to use them
> in busses.
> 
> But what about that "*all*"?  Well, it is "*all* ... that can arise
> ..."  I conveyed a line-sorting program.   No matter how you make,
> use, or sell the program I conveyed it won't do record sorting.  So my
> sub-claim for record sorting is not part of "*all*".   In fact, to
> insist that I convenanted record sorting would mean that I gave up
> something *more* than *all* of the claims I can give permission for.

Correct.

> Now, there is ambiguity here.  If you ask "what is the set of *all*
> claims being covenanted" -- in general there will be more than one way
> to construct it.  Well, that's a simple matter: the right construction
> is the one that I, the conveyer, the patentee, deem to be most
> favorable to me, so long as it is otherwise consistent with the
> GPLv3d2.   After all, it's my property we're talking about here.

The set is very clear, it is the set of patent claims embodied in the
program as conveyed. There is no ambiguity about that, and this is also
the same of what you get with the implicit patent claim of GPLv2.

GPLv2 and GPLv3 will be the same wrt to patents, only GPLv3 will have it
explicit to the benefit of clarity and because of potential legal
differences in other countries that requires it.

So if GPLv2 didn't cause the balkanization of the FS world, I don't see
how the GPLv3 can possibly do it.

Simo.

P.S: I've lobbied to add a clarification to section 11 in today
committee-A conference call, and it is likely that it will be considered
for addition in d3.