Subject: Re: on software freedom and patents
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Mon, 04 Dec 2006 16:30:24 +0900

David H. Lynch Jr. writes:

 >     If I give someone my kidney, I can not take it back after surgery.

Maybe, but if you put your child up for adoption you can later sue to
have that child restored to you, and win.  That is the exception, not
the rule, but it clearly indicates the critical role of well-written
"papers" for license or transfer in matters of exclusive right.

And if you sell the copyright to your program to a company, that
company can turn around and tell your coauthors to stop distributing
that program.  That's one of the most important historical facts in
the history of the free software movement.

 >     Besides, I think

Unless you're a lawyer, I don't care what you "think" on the subject
of what patent law *actually says* (although I'm interested in what
you think it *should say*, in a separate thread).  I care what you've
learned from lawyers and other authorities.  Sources, please?

For the record, most of what I've written so far (including the
opinion on the reliability of "reliance") can be found in Larry
Rosen's book, as well as the O'Reilly text on open source licenses
(sorry, I forget the author's name).  Those authors are of course not
responsible for my erroneous paraphrase or misinterpretation.