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Re: Restrictive Patent Usage

From: Dan Kegel <dank@kegel.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 13:34:12 -0800
Message-ID: <3DE68BD4.8080109@kegel.com>
To: Federico Heinz <fheinz@vialibre.org.ar>
CC: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

Federico Heinz wrote:
> Article 2 [of the GPLv2] says:
> 
> "2.  You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion of
> it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and distribute
> such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1 above, provided
> that you also meet all of these conditions:
> 
>     * a) [stuff irrelevant to this discussion -- FH]
> 
>     * b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
> whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part
> thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties
> under the terms of this License. [Note the recursion here! -- FH]"
> 
> So I can use the code to create derivative works, as long as they are
> distributed, if at all, under the GPL. This means that if I distribute
> the code, I must grant the recipient the right to use *any part of my
> code* in derivative works distributed, if at all, under GPL.
> 
> The problem is that I can license my program under GPL all I want, but
> it would be void, since I don't have the right to grant you the ability
> to "modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion of it, thus
> forming a work based on the Program, and copy and distribute such
> modifications or work under the terms of Section 1 above,".

This is the crux of the matter.  We probably need a lawyer or two
to go over it and see if they agree with your interpretation.

Anyone know a lawyer who won't get dizzy trying to interpret a recursive document?

I wonder if a "for the purposes of implementing this standard, or as part
of a work licensed under the GPL" amendment would fly.
- Dan
Received on Thursday, 28 November 2002 16:34:17 GMT

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