Subject: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this
From: Don Marti <>
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 11:51:25 -0700

begin Stephen J. Turnbull quotation of Thu, Oct 24, 2002 at 12:08:18PM +0900:
> >>>>> "Don" == Don Marti <> writes:
>     Don> In places where the LZW patent is in force, only proprietary
>     Don> derived works, not the original BSD-licensed software, can be
>     Don> distributed.
> In places where Patent X is in force, only proprietary derived works,
> not the original GPL-licensed software, can be distributed (cf.
> Clause 7.)

What proprietary derived works?  The GPL at least puts a kill
switch on distributing the software until the patent mess is
straightened out.

> Presumably publication of an algorithm under a university license
> would constitute "prior art" (assuming an honest implementation of
> patents, and if the patent system is dishonest, no software license
> can help you).  I see a dead heat here, on your argument.

University "technology transfer" departments can snap something up and
get it into the patent process before publication or code release.

> So if we have patents, your argument seems to imply there are no
> acceptable free licenses.

If you're funding a university's work with the intention of making it
freely available, agreeing on an acceptable copyright-only license
is not enough.   The BSD license by itself does not cover patents;
the GPL by itself does.  BSD license plus patent license would work.

Don Marti