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Re: Opinion in opposition to RAND provisions of Patent Policy

From: Luigi P. Bai <lpb@focalpoint.com>
Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 16:33:03 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Daniel Phillips <phillips@bonn-fries.net>, www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org
At 04:06 PM 10/5/2001, Daniel Phillips wrote:
--- Begin Original Message ---
>On October 5, 2001 08:23 pm, Luigi P. Bai wrote:
> > 3. Require that "Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory" actually discriminate
> > in the case of a free/not-for-profit implementation; that such an
> > implementation should, if protected by a "viral" license such as GPL (so
> > its derivatives also remain free), be granted a royalty-free license to 
> use
> > patented technology.
>If by "free" you mean "free of charge" then that lets out the GPL:
>    http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html
>    "7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
>    infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
>    conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
>    otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
>    excuse you from the conditions of this License.  If you cannot
>    distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this
>    License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you
>    may not distribute the Program at all.  For example, if a patent
>    license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
>    all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
>    the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
>    refrain entirely from distribution of the Program."
>In other words, the GPL does not discriminate on the basis of for-profit or
>not-for-profit distribution.  Rather, it requires that a program be freely
>distributable, for whatever purpose.
>On the other hand, if a patent holder is willing to write a license under
>terms that allow for unrestricted usage with software that is licensed under
>the GPL or a compatible license, then I for one would find that acceptable.

Although my original post may not have stated it clearly, this is exactly 
what I meant; that the W3C definition of RAND include terms that allow 
unrestricted usage with software licensed under GPL or a compatible 
license. I don't think it would be sufficient to use the term "open source 
license", by the way.

> > This would unfortunately place the W3C in the position
> > of evaluating potential licenses and declaring which ones were appropriate
> > for such treatment; this may not actually turn out to be very 
> difficult. It
> > is likely to make Microsoft (who has 3! of 20 positions on the Policy 
> team;
> > Nortel, 2; Apple, 2; W3C, 4) terribly upset. :-)
>Why on earth would Microsoft need 3 members on that committee?

Yup, my point exactly.

--- End Original Message ---
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Received on Friday, 5 October 2001 17:33:33 UTC

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