Debian and Nexenta collide
Posted Nov 10, 2005 0:47 UTC (Thu) by paulj
In reply to: Debian and Nexenta collide
Parent article: Debian and Nexenta collide
Actually, he did more than call it "ethical", he said the CDDL "is a free software licence" (with the reservations i mentioned regarding the GPL incompatibilities). RMS is not one to call something "free" lightly.
Regarding patents, yes, they're confined to the CDDL code implementing the patent. Quite obviously the CDDL can not give liberal patent grants if it wishes to be able to specify patent MAD and a patent commons amongst stakeholders (users/developers) in a CDDL project. Note that the patent grants implied by the CDDL *are* available to GPL code, indeed code under any licence. It is the *GPL* which restricts itself, simply because it is quite old now and doesn't deal with the question in any way except to say essentially the patents must be licenced unconditionally to everyone, royalty-free. Note that this is obviously *not* how the GPL licences software copyright (you must follow the restrictions of the GPL), and it's quite probably *not* how the GPLv3 will approach software patents. In other words, watch out: don't today condemn the CDDL for trying to use patents as a lever in the interests of Free Software, as the GPLv2 already does with copyright, and then tomorrow applaud the GPLv3 when it may well try very similar tricks.
A really simple way forward would be for the GPLv3 to recognise the validity of the CDDL patent-pooling/MAD clauses and allow GPLv3 applications to avail of any patent grants in CDDL code, by allowing GPLv3 code to link to such CDDL code. There is *nothing* in the CDDL to stop the FSF, or anyone else, doing so (as long you follow the CDDL wrt to the CDDL /files/, and any derivatives thereof).
I work for Sun, so I guess I'm tainted and part of the Sun conspiracy, so don't believe me - believe RMS.
1. This is pure speculation on my part, but it has been reported that tackling software patents is on the agenda for the GPLv3 and I personally think the CDDL patent clauses would be quite suitable for the next revision of the GPL.
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