Debian and Nexenta collide
Posted Nov 10, 2005 2:29 UTC (Thu) by paulj
In reply to: Debian and Nexenta collide
Parent article: Debian and Nexenta collide
Did you read the article Stallman wrote? The one called "Sun's no-op
announcement" that referred specifically to the patent grants in
question? Unless I'm drunk, or he's totally wrong, then Sun's CDDL patent
grants extend to nothing except Suns' own CDDL-released software.
I did, and yes the grants extend only to the CDDL-released software concerned. However, my point was that the CDDL allows any software to make use of it - that includes GPL software. The only thing the GPL software author has to do is grant herself an exception to link her own code to the CDDL code implementing the patent, and hey presto, she's got a patent licence (by using the CDDL code).
RMS had a concern that Suns' grant was not royalty-free, non-exclusive (AIUI) and hence does not extend to GPL software. The thing though is that Sun can not have the CDDL setup a Free Software patent pool if it also grants such liberal rights (you could avoid the pooling conditions of the CDDL by simply availing of the RFNE grant then). That the GPLv2 is old, needs updating and doesn't provide for patent-pooling is hardly a drawback of the CDDL ;).
Finally, there's a simple solution, the GPLv3 can just avail itself of that pool, by allowing linkage or inclusion of CDDL code (ie, all the GPLv3 really has to do is to just recognise the CDDL as compatible for purposes of GPL - no more).
As both an FSF supporter and a Sun bod, I very much hope the GPLv3 will do that.
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