Questions about patents and open source licences

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Tue Apr 1 23:26:34 UTC 2008

John Cowan wrote:
>>  * Even if I on my site add a disclaimer disallowing downloads/use/etc.
>>    in countries which allow software patents?
> That would be a little drastic, and arguably violates the Open Source
> Definition.

GPLv2 has this provision:

If the distribution and/or use of the Program is restricted in certain 
countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces, the original 
copyright holder who places the Program under this License may add an 
explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding those countries, 
so that distribution is permitted only in or among countries not thus 
excluded. In such case, this License incorporates the limitation as if 
written in the body of this License.

However, I would not recommend using it.

Matt Flaschen

More information about the License-discuss mailing list