SELinux and patents
Posted Jun 14, 2002 1:27 UTC (Fri) by abredon
Parent article: SELinux and patents
Since SCC released under the GPL, they effectively have to license their patent for free use by any derivative. Section 7 of the GPL:
7. ... For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program. ...
if SCC intends to not permit royalty free redistribution of the program, they are not allowed to distribute. They distributed, therefore they can be held to have permitted royalty free distribution under the GPL. Since they are both the patent holder AND the distributing party, if they try to charge for use of the patent, they are violating the GPL contract they signed by making a derivative work, and thus lose all rights they have to make said derivative work.
End result: If they do decide to charge for the patent, there is effectively no such thing as SELinux, and both SCC and the NSA must stop distributing it - a public relations land mine that SCC should not want to step on, not to mention that the NSA would not like to find out that they can not distribute SELinux due to SCC having broken a contract, after having announced the release of SELinux QUITE publicly.
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