[License-discuss] Permissive but anti-patent license

John Funnell john at parabolaresearch.com
Wed Jan 2 12:24:59 UTC 2013

John, Ken,

The vegetarian clause was, like moose excrement and chicken dancing,
purely used to illustrate a point. It is not at all unreasonable to
include a clause restricting patents on use of the code and I would
expect a judge to respect the licensees intention.

I do believe a clause can apply retroactively. If not, I could
download the Linux kernel with good intentions, wait a week and then
turn evil and, with that copy, violate GPL exactly as I pleased.
License obligations are agreed when making the copy but they do not
fade with time. A copyright license essentially says "I will not sue
you for copying my stuff provided that you do X and do not do Y".

I am interested in three things here:

- will the license clause proposed have the desired anti-patent
effect? That is, will corporations understand it and respect it?
- are there any loopholes, especially with regard to derived works?
- is this a true open source license and is it ready for the License
Review mailing list?

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