software patents (STWL: please comment)
bfastenrath at mac.com
Sun Nov 14 07:18:10 UTC 2004
John Cowan wrote:
> Bernhard Fastenrath scripsit:
>>I do not restrict this to a particular open source license or a
>>particular open source software, so a patent owner who sues a user of
>>GPL'ed software for infringement of his intellectual property claims by
>>that software automatically terminates all his STWL licenses.
> That boils down to this:
> 1. Alice releases software under the GPL.
> 2. Bob rips off Alice's software and reuses it in his proprietary program.
> 3. Alice, incensed, sues Bob for copyright infringement.
> 4. All of Alice's STWL licenses go bye-bye.
No, they don't. Alice has to have a software patent claim in order for
the paragraph 5 to take effect at all. Also the STWL is a BSD-style
license and this case does not apply as Bob can do whatever he wants to
do with the software Alice wrote as long as he gives credit to Alice and
observes paragraphs 3 and 4.
In order for your example to apply Alice would have to have a software
patent that applies to a software released under the STWL and sue Bob
for infringement, which would be rather strange behaviour. You are
right, however, that this would terminate all Alice's STWL licenses.
> If I were Alice (and I am, because I have released software under the GPL),
> I wouldn't touch any STWL-licensed software.
Because you want to retain the right to patent any part of your GPL
software and sue all users of your software?
Let's assume the FSF switches to a GPL+PIP license and effectivly stops
Microsoft, IBM and whoever else uses GPL'ed software to either use that
software or to refrain from any patent actions against open source
software [users]. That's the idea, if the wording is wrong give me a
hint what should be changed.
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