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Re: Are Microsoft’s patent lawyers really this dumb?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Are Microsoft’s patent lawyers really this dumb?
Date: Sun, 08 Jul 2007 10:30:13 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Kurt Häusler <> writes:

> On Sun, 08 Jul 2007 19:15:48 +1200, Jonathan Walker wrote:
>> Any person who distributes GPL3 code cannot subsequently sue the
>> recipient of that code - or anybody else - for any alleged patent
>> violations because the GPL3 requires that or else that person is in
>> violation of the license which is the only right that person has to
>> distribute that software.
> Interesting. I am involved quite a bit in interoperability and the
> legal issues are quickly making the technical issues seem trivial in
> comparison.
> I am a bit worried myself as I used to work for a company writing
> open source linux drivers (but not in the kernel or any distros)
> implementing patented protocols and algorithms with permission,
> under the gpl2 (or any later version), just trying to do the right
> thing, currently I and a couple of others are still distributing
> them (and won't be suing anyone for using it!). I think the patents
> have since been sold. Who knows what the legal consequences are, it
> might be a good idea to stop distributing them, which seems somewhat
> counter to the goals of software freedom to me.  On the other hand,
> I like the idea of protecting the users (and other coders) from
> patent lawsuits so updating the gpl to version 3 seems tempting too
> but is it my right to do so?

Sure.  What about "or any later version" did you not understand?
However, that does not make the original copyright holder responsible
for redistribution under the GPL 3, so it is you, the relicensor, that
have to provide the patent protection if you can.  Which you likely

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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