Subject: Re: Why software patents are bad
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 17:30:37 -0400 (EDT) writes:
 > >And given Redhat's ten-digit market capitalization,
 > >we might have reasonable cause for claiming actual monetary damages
 > >for infringement on a free software copyright.
 > I'm a bit unclear on the implications here.  Do you mean Redhat's
 > rise to stardom invites others to try and siphon off some easy
 > cash by violating the free-software copyrights used on so much
 > of what goes into Redhat's distributions?  Or that Redhat itself
 > might someday give into temptation to try to take portions of
 > its distributions proprietary?  Both?  Or something else?

Neither.  It's that copyright is an ex post law.  You can't recover
from the damages (you can't go to all the people to whom the work has
been copies and get it back), so you have to be paid for the damages
by the infringer.  What are the damages from someone taking free
software proprietary?  We're not talking theoretical damages, we're
talking actual damages.  Lost income.

-russ nelson <>
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