Response to comments on Intel's proposed BSD+Patent license

Russell Nelson nelson at
Fri Nov 2 18:08:49 UTC 2001

Randy Kramer writes:
 > 1. Use (and modification) of software can be restricted by copyright but
 > might also be restricted by patent (if the software uses something which
 > is patented).

Because U.S. law relating to intellectual property has been corrupted.

 > Aside: I would feel cheated (misled, whatever) if I started to use
 > software that was open source (with the rights associated with the open
 > source license applied to that software), but some of those rights were
 > restricted by patent issues, especially if the licensing was so opaque
 > that I didn't realize that until later.

Worse than what Intel is doing (that is, trying to be helpful), is the 
issue of third-party and submarine patents.  Intel could write
software (patented or not), release it under the proposed BSD+Patent
license, and both you and Intel would be very surprised if someone
else turned up to also have a patent, or a patent could turn up to
have been registered but not granted until after you started using

Intel can't solve those problems but it should be commended for doing
what it can (even if it isn't doing everything that we think

-russ nelson <sig at>
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