Academic Free License questions

Havoc Pennington hp at
Fri Nov 22 00:21:20 UTC 2002


This is probably a FAQ too, but regarding the mutual termination
for patent action clause:

  Say I have a proprietary application and want to use someone's
  patent. Can I implement a small library containing only the patented
  code, license the library under the AFL, then use that library from
  my proprietary application, thus preventing the patent owner from 
  filing a lawsuit against me?

If the answer is no, is the answer clearly no to anyone reading the
license, or could a reasonable lawyer worry about this issue?

The reason I want to license code under an X-style license is to be
sure no one avoids using the code for licensing reasons. i.e. to
maximize usage of the code. 

Do people think the mutual termination clause runs counter to that

I like the idea of the AFL very much, including the mutual termination
clause, but am concerned that the classic X license would get the
rubber stamp much more quickly from many legal departments - if only
because most of the relevant departments have already approved X,
Apache, and so on. What's the conventional wisdom on this?


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