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From: Paul A. Bristow (boost_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-11-28 09:55:04

> -----Original Message-----
> From: boost-bounces_at_[hidden]
> [mailto:boost-bounces_at_[hidden]]On Behalf Of David B. Held
> I think the problem is that the entire clause can be viewed as disclaiming
> warranties against patent infringement/copyright violation/etc. The
> question is whether it is possible to protect both library authors and
> potential users. I don't see where else the buck can get passed. Perhaps
> a special clause that the software does not infringe on any known
> patents or copyrights, but comes with no other warranties? I have no idea
> what the legal status of such claims are, however.
> Dave

In practice, Boost authors (and reviewers) will have made their best efforts to
ensure that they don't know of any patent infringement and/or copyright
violations. Perhaps we can say this without exposing the authors to too much
risk? (As David rightly observes, I am not worth suing!)

But ultimately, the user must surely assess and take the risk. However, a
statement "not known to infringe copyright or patent" may help the user assess
the risk.



As example of the morass we are in, I would like to submit a revised (by me for
C++) FFT algorithm (originally in C) which contains the following notes:

** NOTE: This routine uses at least 2 patented algorithms, and may be
** under the restrictions of a bunch of different organizations.
** Although I wrote it completely myself; it is kind of a derivative
** of a routine I once authored and released under the GPL, so it
** may fall under the free software foundation's restrictions;
** it was worked on as a Stanford Univ project, so they claim
** some rights to it; it was further optimized at work here, so
** I think this company (Acuson?) claims parts of it. The patents are
** held by R. Bracewell (the FHT algorithm) and O. Buneman (the
** trig generator), both at Stanford Univ.
** If it were up to me, I'd say go do whatever you want with it;
** but it would be polite to give credit to the following people
** if you use this anywhere:
** Euler - probable inventor of the Fourier transform.
** Gauss - probable inventor of the FFT.
** Hartley - probable inventor of the Hartley transform.
** Buneman - for a really cool trig generator
** Mayer(me) - for authoring this particular version and
** including all the optimizations in one package.
** Thanks,
** Ron Mayer; mayer_at_[hidden]

Not to mention, Cooley, Tukey and Bracewell!

And the patents have probably expired by now...

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