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SubjectRe: business models [was patent stuff]
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On Wed, 2002-05-29 at 04:21, Adam J. Richter wrote:
> Example definitions might be: "public domain or any license
> certified by the Open Software Initiative", "a license that has


The OSI approves things like the BSD license which is a convenient open
door for anyone to use such patents in proprietary code with a tiny
useless BSD licensed library. That doesn't further free software, it
doesn't provide opportunities for co-operative cross licensing to get
GPL rights to other patents from the proprietary world and so forth.
Being in a position where as part of the normal processes of proprietary
software design we can get other companies to give free software access
to some patents in return for access to use some our stuff proprietary
is a win.

I would worry much more about the million odd patents IBM have, where
IBM have no general statement of this nature than the Red Hat ones.
Perhaps once the Red Hat statement is published IBM can be persuaded to
show willing ?

> More importantly, licensing patents only for pure GPL'ed use
> is unlikely to become a norm that you can expect broad adoption of
> in free software businesses, as many of them tend to be proponents of
> slightly different copying permissions. If we have a bunch of patents
> licensed for GPL-only, another bunch for MPL-only, another bunch for
> pure-BSD only, then the patent proliferation that I described
> yesterday will still probably occur.

I would agree to an extent. Certainly purely GPL is excluding stuff
which has identical 'all of package' rules like db3, Qt free editions,
and much of KDE.

> free software under those licenses. If the GPL developers don't shield
> the Apache developers, the X developers, the BSD developers, and the
> MPL developers so that their ability to continue with the free software
> portion of their activities has been respected, do you really think
> they'll shield GPL development from their patents?

There is little evidence of that having happened with code, its also
possible to extend lists of licenses, clarify them for specific product
and so forth.

Alan

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