[License-discuss] patent rights and the OSD
Christopher Sean Morrison
brlcad at mac.com
Tue Mar 7 23:10:22 UTC 2017
On Mar 07, 2017, at 04:45 PM, Ben Tilly <btilly at gmail.com> wrote:
When we talk about whether a software license is OSD compliant, we are only addressing the question of whether this license restricts software under copyright law in a way that violates the OSD.
I hear you, but I don't see where the OSD says that. It does not mention copyright law. The OSD annotated or otherwise doesn't even mention the word 'copy'. It (specifically?) says "the distribution terms".
While I certainly can understand the perspective that there are other laws, regulations, and factors, not all of them affect distribution terms of the software -- they are restrictions on me, my assets, my situation, not the software. Software patents are terrible in part because they pertain to the source code itself, thus affecting the distribution terms on that code.
In a way, it's convenient that the OSD does not specifically call out copyright and speaks generically. It's a testament of forethought (or luck) of the original authors.
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