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Re: Red Hat pays $800,000 + costs for a patent deal

From: Rick
Subject: Re: Red Hat pays $800,000 + costs for a patent deal
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:50:04 -0500
User-agent: Pan/0.132 (Waxed in Black)

On Fri, 13 Jun 2008 09:40:48 -0400, Ezekiel wrote:

> "Alexander Terekhov" <> wrote in message
>> ------
>> Essentially, Red Hat has licensed the patents in question, which deal
>> with computer databases, from DataTern. DataTern had claimed that one
>> of Red Hat's business-software products, a database program known as
>> JBoss Hibernate, violated the patents.
>> Under terms of the settlement, customers have a royalty-free, worldwide
>> license to use any and all Red Hat products, Red Hat says in a
>> statement. DataTern and its parent company, British venture capital
>> firm Amphion Innovations, also have promised not to file suits related
>> to claims on Red Hat products.
>> In a statement, Amphion Innovations said it would take in $800,000 from
>> the settlement after costs. An Amphion spokesperson wasn't immediately
>> available for comment. Red Hat isn't commenting on terms of the
>> settlement, a spokesperson says.
>> "Our distributors, customers, and anyone else who uses Red Hat products
>> are protected with respect to Red Hat products," the company said in a
>> statement posted to its Web site. "This broad coverage is a significant
>> benefit to the open source community." ------
>> Reactions from the freetards universe:
>> ------
>> Full terms of the settlement and patent licenses are not yet available.
>> Richard Fontana, patent attorney for Red Hat and formerly of the
>> Software Freedom Law Center, said
>>   Red Hat's settlement satisfies the most stringent patent provisions
>>   in open source licenses, is consistent with the letter and spirit of
>>   all versions of the GPL and provides patent safety for developers,
>>   distributors and users of open source software.
>> Richard Stallman, executive director of the Free Software Foundation,
>> said
>>   If we can judge from Red Hat's statement, the deal is good for the
>>   free software community. I would not want to treat that as certain;
>>   they might have chosen not to mention some negative side. Be that as
>>   it may, it was an unfortunate mistake to refer to patents as
>>   "intellectual property"; see
>> Red Hat should know
>>   better than to do that.
>> Eben Moglen of the Software Freedom Law Center, and general counsel of
>> the Free Software Foundation, said
>>   "Red Hat's settlement of outstanding patent litigation on terms that
>>   provide additional protection to other members of the community
>>   upstream and downstream from Red Hat is a positive contribution to
>>   the resources for community patent defense. We would hope to see more
>>   settlements of this kind--in which parties secure more than their own
>>   particular legal advantage in relation to the third-party patent risk
>>   of the whole FOSS community--when commercial redistributors of FOSS
>>   choose to settle patent litigation. SFLC welcomes Red Hat's efforts
>>   on the community's behalf."
>> ------
>> PJ of Groklaw also claims that the deal is "Compatible with GPLv3" and
>> "harmonious with GPLv2".
>> (Red Hat
>> Makes History With Patent Settlement - Compatible with GPLv3)
>> ------
>> You've probably been wondering why I've been quiet, when there is news
>> about a patent settlement between Red Hat and Firestar and DataTern in
>> the JBoss litigation. It's because I wanted to be positive I was
>> correct that this is the first known settlement involving patents that
>> is harmonious with GPLv3. It is.
>> It's also harmonious with GPLv2, of course, but this is history in the
>> making, friends. They settled a lawsuit brought against them in a way
>> that licenses patents without violating the GPL. I'll show you how, but
>> first, so you know I'm not just dreaming, here's the answer I got from
>> Richard Fontana, Open Source Licensing and Patent Counsel, Red Hat, to
>> my question about whether this is the first known GPLv3 patent
>> agreement that works:
>>   Most patent settlements and similar agreements are confidential, but
>>   to my knowledge this is the first patent settlement that satisfies
>>   the requirements of GPL version 3. Indeed, it really goes further
>>   than GPLv3 in the degree to which upstream and downstream parties
>>   receive safety from the patents at issue here. (And this is not a
>>   case of trying to find a loophole in the GPL, but rather a desire on
>>   our part to reach an agreement that provided broad patent protection
>>   for developers, distributors and users, while complying fully with
>>   the conditions of the licenses of the software we and our community
>>   distribute.)
>> ------
>> regards,
>> alexander.
>> --
>> (GNG is a derecursive recursive derecursion which pwns GNU since it can
>> be infinitely looped as GNGNGNGNG...NGNGNG... and can be said backwards
>> too, whereas GNU cannot.)
> I love the comment on this page:
> <quote>
> So Red Hat got protection for their commercial offering and for upstream
> developers as long as their work shows up in a Red Hat product but not
> other commercial products? Isn't this what Novell and Microsoft did?
> Didn't Red Hat spend extraordinary effort to paint Novell as the most
> evil thing ever to happen to Open Source for having done so? Am I
> missing something or, despite carefully crafted words to create the
> illusion otherwise, has Red Hat just become a giant hypocrite?
> </quote>
> ** Posted from **

I like this:


Another day , another patent lawsuit settled. Where the script changes is 
that Red Hat’s settlement covers not just its programs, but any open-
source programs connected with the settlement.

“Typically when a company settles a patent lawsuit, it focuses on getting 
safety for itself,” said Rob Tiller, Red Hat’s VP and assistant general 
counsel for intellectual property, in a statement. “But that was not 
enough for us, we wanted broad provisions that covered our customers, who 
place trust in us, and the open source community, whose considerable 
efforts benefit our business.”

... and this:


Red Hat claims that the terms of the settlement will offer broad 
protection for upstream developers, downstream distributors and Red Hat's 

"We wanted broad provisions that covered our customers, who place trust 
in us, and the open source community, whose considerable efforts benefit 
our business," said a statement from Red Hat's in-house lawyer Rob Tiller.


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