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

From: Kurt Häusler
Subject: Re: Are Microsoft’s patent lawyers really this dumb?
Date: Sun, 08 Jul 2007 03:21:27 -0500
User-agent: pan 0.120 (Plate of Shrimp)

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?

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