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SubjectRe: A reply on the RTLinux discussion.
Date
From
Roman Zippel <zippel@linux-m68k.org> said:
> AFAIK the patent doesn't give you the right to forbid anyone from
> using the technology, you only have a right to demand a compensation.
> If I am correct with this, you are possibly violating the GPL here.
> The binary module exception is an additional right granted to you by
> Linus, which you can't simply deny to others. The user space issue is
> even more clear, because that is clearly defined.

Actually, a patent does do exactly this. A patent gives you a "negative"
right to exclude anyone from using your patented method or process. If you
choose never to licence your patent (as is your right to do so) you block
everyone else from making use of it.

In general, about the only restrictions on patents and their licensing
arrangements in the US are the antitrust laws. See:

http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/public/guidelines/ipguide.htm

for a good guide from the horse's mouth.

This is an important debate but I think it's quality could be enhanced by
increasing the level of well researched information and opinion. A good
starting point is `Benefits, Risks and Considerations in Using Open Licensed
Software' written by a group of Intellectual Property lawyers and available
freely on the internet:

http://www.whepatent.com/opensource.pdf

James Bottomley


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