john at dhh.gt.org
Tue Apr 20 20:48:23 UTC 1999
Chip Salzenberg writes:
> Given the way patent law works, could it not be argued that the lack of a
> similar phrase in the GPL is actually a defect in the GPL?
No. From the GPL:
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.
> If Apple doesn't have *some* way to discontinue (alleged) infringement,
> it can't protect itself against aggressive deep-pockets attacks.
Apple has a simple way to discontinue infringement: they can discontinue
use and distribution.
> Note also that the license is only *suspended*, and the APSL takes
> explicit notice of your right to carry on as *you* see fit, even if Apple
> takes a cautious path on a given disagreement.
It does no such thing.
> Are you a lawyer?
Are you? If not, what is your point?
> I trust that Apple's lawyers aren't shadowboxing.
I trust that Apple's lawyers are advancing Apple's interests.
> They know how unpopular the termination clause was, but they apparently
> felt that they couldn't just remove it.
But we have no way to know why. We must judge the license as we see it,
not on the basis of inferred benign motives on the part of Apple's
> And they showed they were willing to remove unpopular clauses when
> possible: the export clause is gone.
They showed that they are willing to negotiate. Have you never been
involved in business negotiations before?
john at dhh.gt.org (John Hasler)
Dancing Horse Hill
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