Intel's proposed BSD + Patent License

Karsten M. Self kmself at
Mon Nov 5 02:22:04 UTC 2001

on Fri, Nov 02, 2001 at 05:34:48PM -0500, Russell Nelson (nelson at wrote:
> Forrest J. Cavalier III writes:
>  > Any software license which restricts use to only publicly available
>  > GPL'ed OSs, (the way their patent license does), would obviously fail
>  > to meet the OSD.
> But it doesn't restrict use to only publicly available GPL'ed OSs.
> Certain software which falls under patents may require a patent
> license, yes.  But that's already the case with the BSD license.  And
> I'm sure that you think that the BSD license is GPL-compatible Open
> Source Free Software.
> The presence of the patent grant does not harm anyone.
>  > Tell me why you have to put the OSI's good name on this.
> The only way we can reject a license is to point to the OSD term which 
> it violates.
>  > There
>  > is no precedent for it.  (The GPL may not play nice with other
>  > licenses, but it restricts copying, not use.)
> The BSD+Patent license doesn't restrict use either.  The patent system 
> restricts use.  The BSD+Patent license grants use.

The patent license creates an explicit class of works under which the
software is not freely utilizeable.  The tying of the patent clause to
the license of the software itself means that collectively, the licenses
for copyright and patent discriminate against fields of endeavor (any
non-OS work), OSD section 6.

The issue is the binding of the patent license to operating systems, not
the binding to the GPL.  

There's also the issue of the patent restriction raising compatibility
issues with the GPL.  I don't believe it's the purview of the OSI to
consider license interactions, but if the patent license fails to meet
the requirements for GPL distribution, then it's utterly void, and the
license as drafted doesn't allow for *any* distribution. 


Karsten M. Self <kmself at>
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?             Home of the brave                   Land of the free
   Free Dmitry! Boycott Adobe! Repeal the DMCA!
Geek for Hire           
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 232 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the License-discuss mailing list