john.lange at bighostbox.com
Wed Jan 28 11:00:41 EST 2004
Thank you Russell.
Your depth of knowledge has filled in some answers to questions I had
regarding the state of software patents and the like.
The links you provided also give me some reassurance that at least
someone is paying attention to these issues. I plan to join those lists
and do what I can.
(204) 885 0872
On Tue, 2004-01-27 at 22:18, Russell McOrmond wrote:
> On Mon, 19 Jan 2004, John Lange wrote:
> > Keep in mind that the GPL applies to copyrights, not patents.
> Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software
> patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free
> program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the
> program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any
> patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at
> 7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
> infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
> conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
> otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
> excuse you from the conditions of this License.
> If an actual contributor to GPL'd software tried to sue based on patents
> within the GPL'd software, they would have problems. The GPL doesn't
> protect us from third parties (non-contributors who are patent holders),
> but it should (untested in courts, like most licenses) protect us from
> turncoat contributors/distributors/etc.
> > When IBM contributes code to a project its the copyright they assign
> > under the GPL, NOT the patents.
> They *license* their works under the GPL, both copyright and patents, in
> their contributions. They do not *assign* either set of rights. A
> contributor to a GPL program still has copyright over their work, and may
> offer additional licenses in additional situations.
> > I'm not a lawyer but I believe patent rights can trump copyrights.
> IANAL either, but hang out with civil servants, economists, lawyers and
> law students ;-)
> What you say is correct, which is why I as a supporter of creators'
> rights in software oppose software patents.
> Note: Yes, it only trumps it for 20 years but with the speed of innovation
> in software arguing 20 years vs 50 years is like arguing whether infinity
> or infinity-plus-one is larger.
> > Naturally this only applies in the US and other countries where you have
> > software patents but its still a problem.
> Canada is one of those countries. Not by case-law or by the Patent act,
> but by the practices of CIPO. Please consider joining
> http://www.digital-copyright.ca where conversations seem to be being
> started on a response to this problem. Recent XML information processing
> patents seem to have sparked interest where there was not any previously.
> Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
> Governance software that controls ICT, automates government policy, or
> electronically counts votes, shouldn't be bought any more than
> politicians should be bought. -- http://www.flora.ca/russell/
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