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Re: The GPL and Patents: ROFL

From: RJack
Subject: Re: The GPL and Patents: ROFL
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 16:00:33 -0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100802 Thunderbird/3.1.2

On 8/20/2010 2:19 PM, Hyman Rosen wrote:
On 8/20/2010 1:11 PM, RJack wrote:
Good. then we can stop all this software patent indemnity blather
with the GPL

If you wish to copy and distribute software which incorporates
patented processes under the GPL, you must arrange for all
downstream recipients to have the same rights to practice the patent
that you do when they further use, copy, and distribute the software
under the GPL. If the patents are your own, that's simple. If they're
not, that could be considerably complicated.

The point is to avoid the promissory estoppel

You keep talking about promissory estoppel and you're gonna' piss off a
whole lot of your GNUtian friends including your mother PJ.

that would result from ostensibly distributing free software but
actually having that software be encumbered so that some users would
not have the freedom that the GPL is supposed to guarantee.

Note that the GPL does not actually require you to obtain rights to
patents practiced in the software. It only requires that all be
treated equally - you cannot copy and distribute the GPLed work of
others if you have arranged things so that some downstream recipients
have more rights to practice the patents than others.

RJack :)

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