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Re: Restrictive Patent Usage

From: Dan Kegel <dank@kegel.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 11:11:29 -0800
Message-ID: <3DE66A61.6050508@kegel.com>
To: Federico Heinz <fheinz@vialibre.org.ar>
CC: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

Federico Heinz wrote:
> On Thu, 2002-11-28 at 14:49, Dan Kegel wrote:
> 
>>Are you quite sure that article 7 of the GPL means what you think it means?
>>The pertinent part appears to be:
>> > 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.
>>This one has more potential.  What are the obligations under the GPL?
>>I looked, and I can't find one that the draft policy interferes with.
> 
> We must be looking at things from different perspectives. Let's create a
> concrete scenario, and see if we agree on how things work.
> 
> 1. Say, I'm writing an HTTP server.
> 2. In said server, I use some handy GPL'ed code, which binds me to
> either distribute the server under GPL, or not to distribute it at all.
> 3. Now further assume that, in said server, I also implement some W3C
> standard that requires a royalty-free, field-of-use-restricted license.
> 4. Since my server must be distributed under the GPL, as part of it I
> must grant the user the right to take *any* part of it, including the
> patent-encumbered bit, and to integrate it into *any* program he/she
> wishes to (say, a driver for Theo de Raadt's baby mulching machine), as
> long as that program is also GPL.
> 5. Now, this new driver may very well fall outside the "field of use"
> for which the patent is available through a royalty-free license.
> 6. Since I cannot anticipate the fields of use in which users of my
> server may want to reuse my code, I can't grant them blanket permission
> to do it, as required by the GPL

I'm with you right up until this last bit.  Can you specify exactly
which part of the GPL requires this?  Then let's look at that section
more closely.  (And feel free to have a cup of coffee first :-)

Thanks,
Dan
Received on Thursday, 28 November 2002 14:11:35 GMT

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