[License-review] Request for Approval of Universal Permissive License (UPL)

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Sat Aug 30 05:56:33 UTC 2014

Henrik Ingo scripsit:

> "...sold, copy, create derivative works of (provided that this does
> not license additional patent claims beyond those covering the
> unmodified Software and Larger Works), display, perform, distribute,
> and sublicense the Software and the Larger Work(s) on either these or
> other terms."
> I appreciate that the text in parenthesis was added as a
> clarification, however I'm afraid the current text can be read in the
> other extreme instead: In practice it would often forbid creation of
> any derivative works, since any non-trivial modification is more than
> likely to infringe on somebody's patent, or at least that somebody
> could easily claim that it does. 

The text doesn't forbid you from infringing patents, it merely warns
you that you might be doing so, because you have no license to use
(etc.) patents unless they are both needed for the original work *and*
held by the licensor.

In general, it is not forbidden to infringe a patent unless the patent
holder chooses to sue you.  In any case, holding a patent to do X does not
mean, in general, that you can permit someone else to do X, because doing
X may also infringe some third party's patent which you cannot license.
Patents are purely negative powers: they only allow you to punish people
who infringe your rights, and get an injunction to make them stop.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
It was dreary and wearisome.  Cold clammy winter still held sway in this
forsaken country.  The only green was the scum of livid weed on the dark
greasy surfaces of the sullen waters.  Dead grasses and rotting reeds loomed
up in the mists like ragged shadows of long-forgotten summers.
        --LOTR, "The Passage of the Marshes"

More information about the License-review mailing list