software patents (STWL: please comment)

Bernhard Fastenrath bfastenrath at
Mon Nov 15 16:55:59 UTC 2004

Lasse Reichstein Nielsen wrote:
> The line between commercial software and Open Source is ... well, not  
> there.

It's just diffcult but it's there. Open Source software that becomes 
part of a bigger software remains open source software. If you have a 
patent claim against Windows it will always be possible if that claim 
also applies to the original work that has been incorporated into 
Windows. If that is true the intention of the STWL is to protect that 
code as well.

>> 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  
> PowerPoint
> (the Open Source being used needs not be part of the patent 
> infringement  at all)...

Sorry, I didn't get that. Please change to full-sentence mode.

>> 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.

My intention was to protect open source software by effectivly creating 
a protective environment where all software packages protect every 
single software package. If a single software package is subject to a 
patent claim all other software licenses are terminated just as if the 
open source software community was a business entity being attacked and 
responding by withdrawing its support for the attacking entity.

-- <>

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