Intel's proposed BSD + Patent License

Russell Nelson nelson at
Wed Oct 31 04:21:55 UTC 2001

David Johnson writes:
 > Now wait one cotton pickin' minute here! You mean to tell me I can't use this 
 > software on FreeBSD?

Sure you can.  GPL your copy of it.

 > If the OSI certification mark only applies to licenses, then this one might, 
 > just might, squeak by if you serve enough booze at the board meeting. But if 
 > the mark applies to software, then it clearly fails.

It applies to software (a certification mark can only be used on a
good or service, and a license is neither such).  We could approve it, 
saying "By the way, this license cannot be used by patented software."
Of course Intel wouldn't be able to use it for the purpose they
desire, so there's little point in doing that.

 > Software under this license and simultaneously encumbered by a
 > patent fails the OSD on numerous points.

Oh, it gets even more interesting than that.  What if a third party
owns patent rights to the software?  It's *still* not freely usable by
all.  How is this situation made worse simply because some users have
gotten a patent license?  Those users still can't use it because of
the third-party patent.

-russ nelson <sig at>
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