APSL 1.1

Henning Makholm henning at makholm.net
Thu Apr 22 00:11:17 UTC 1999

Chip Salzenberg <chip at perlsupport.com> writes:

> OK, point taken.  The GPL is a tool of social change, and as such, it
> uses patent threats as levers.


The GPL *is* a tool of social change and uses several levers (some
of which are not universally agreed on as Good Things).

"Patent threats" is not one of them.

Regarding patents GPL simply states (in its usual convoluted legalese)

a) that if there's a patent applying to the code you cannot distribute
   the program without the consent of the copyright holder *and*
   the patent holder.

b) that the copyright holder is always perfectly willing to give you
   *his* consent (as long as you agree to certain terms not having to
   do with patents) but if you need someone else's consent you'll
   have to negotiate with them yourself.

Apple and IBM could do the same.

At least, to my knowledge, no *argument* why they couldn't has ever
been advanced.

All we have are the second-hand postulates of corporate lawyers (who
are protecting their clients' interests first and the interests of
their clients' customers only to the extent that happens to coincide
with the client's interests).

Henning Makholm

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