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I fully support the FSF position on the proposed "Royalty-Free" Patent Policy

From: Lance Heller <lheller@ttsi-tul.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 17:10:30 -0600
Message-ID: <3E10D266.5060007@ttsi-tul.com>
To: www-patentpolicy-comment@w3.org

FSF's objections center around Section 3 of the W3C's proposed patent 
policy. Item 3 of that section says that the royalty-free license may 
"may be limited to implementations of the Recommendation, and to what is 
required by the Recommendation". That is a "field of use" restriction.

The problem is the interaction of such a "field of use" restriction with 
Section 7 of GPL. Under Section 7, the "field of use" restriction is a 
"conditions are imposed on you [the distributor of GPL'ed software] that 
contradict the conditions of this License". The "conditions of this 
license" require, for example, that those receiving distributions of 
GPL'ed software have the right to run the program for any purpose 
(Section 0), the right to modify it for any purpose (Section 2), etc. 
Any of these "purposes" could easily practice the teachings of the 
patent beyond what the "field of use" restriction allows.

Lance Heller
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Received on Friday, 3 January 2003 18:07:59 UTC

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