> For open source software projects, though, the primary concern is likely to be Kinsella's point about requiring patents to buy a seat at the table.
The DPL seems to be essentially about establishing a "patent-free zone". As such, it doesn't make sense to block non-patent-holders from entering, so long as they agree to never sue other DPL members over patent infringement. It is also worth noting that joining without any patents is hardly any different from joining with a single, trivial patent which no one cares to infringe.
> It does not take too much speculation to see that there are companies working in both software and hardware (e.g., Intel or IBM) with hardware-related patents that even the staunchest software-patent critic might concede are valid original inventions.
The "staunchest software-patent critics" would probably be one who is opposed to all patents, software or otherwise. They would have all the arguments against software patents in particular, plus all the arguments against patents in general.
However, putting that aside for the moment, what about the possibility of two levels of membership? One level would only cover software patents, and the other would cover all patents, as in the current scheme. The software-only members would only be required to license their software patents, but in turn would only receive a license to the other members' software patents in turn, and would only have access to the pool of software patents for defensive purposes.