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Posted Sep 30, 2010 14:09 UTC (Thu) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
In 2002-2005, a few dozen people in Europe gained precious experience in patent policy, but when the big campaign there ended, the knowledge started fading away.
Instead of repeating that mistake each year in a different country/region, now, I try to document everything as I go. That should help others get involved in future.
Implicit patent licence
Posted Sep 30, 2010 22:42 UTC (Thu) by boog (subscriber, #30882)
There are the general sections 6 and 7 requiring a distributor not to impose further limits on the recipients rights (as seen on the ESP wiki).
But I saw somewhere a comment of Stallman's indicating that in the US any sale carries with it an "implicit patent licence", presumably because otherwise a seller could potentially sue their own customers. He further implied that he had been happy for this not be explicit in the GPLv2 (I guess to "ensnare" as many patents as possible). I don't know how useful this would be regarding redistribution, even in the US.
Posted Sep 30, 2010 23:03 UTC (Thu) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
"""We didn't think this was an issue because in the US, when that company distributes the software under the GPL, they're telling people "We have no objections if you do what the GPL says you can do" and so if they tried to sue those same people for patent infringement later, they would lose.
However, we found out that this is not true all around the World. So GPL version 3 carries an explicit patent licence which is following the lead of the Mozilla Public License. I think that was the first one which contained an explicit patent licence. Basically, all this says is that none of the people who distributed the program on it's path to reaching you can turn around and sue you for patent infringement on the patents that covered the code that passed through their hands.
This is not as broad as it could possibly be, but it seems right because it's pretty much the same as the implicit patent licence that US law gives people."""
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