software patents (STWL: please comment)

Lasse Reichstein Nielsen atwork at
Mon Nov 15 16:01:49 UTC 2004

On Mon, 15 Nov 2004 14:57:42 +0100, Bernhard Fastenrath  
<bfastenrath at> wrote:

> I thought it was apparent that in a software license the licensee is
> the person being adressed ('you').

Ok, so it is anyone who accepts the license (which is necessary for getting
the premissions granted by the license).

> Okay, that is not the intended result. The wording would have to be  
> changed to include users of open source software being used under an  
> open source license and not as part of a commercial product,

Those two are not incompatible. In particular, the BSD code in Windows
*is* used under the BSD license.

> except if that product is a software distribution of open source  
> software,as, for example, Redhat or SuSE Linux.

How about a Linux distribution that also ships prorietary (non Open Source)
software as part of the distribution (like a home-grown installation  
Or a commercial X-server as part of the installation?

The line between commercial software and Open Source is ... well, not  

> Yes. That is the good part. If MS sues a Linux user because Linux  
> infringes on some of their patents

... or because they reverse engineered a patented functionality in  
(the Open Source being used needs not be part of the patent infringement  
at all)...

> all their STWL-based licenses and possible licenses with this clause as  
> an addition are immediately terminated.

Why not just make it simpler then:
5. You are not allowed to take any legal action in response to violations,
or claims of violations, of any software based patents you own, nor are you
allowed to threaten to do so.

That should stop them cold :) If software patents are really that evil,
hitting on non-Open Source users shouldn't be allowed either. After all,
it's about the patents, not Open Source.

Lasse R. Nielsen - atwork at
  'Faith without judgement merely degrades the spirit divine'

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