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From: Terje Slettebø (tslettebo_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-11-30 11:23:24

>From: "David Abrahams" <dave_at_[hidden]>

> "Iain K.Hanson" <iain.hanson_at_[hidden]> writes:
> >> [mailto:boost-bounces_at_[hidden]]On Behalf Of David B. Held Sent:
26 November 2002 21:26
> >
> >
> > [snip]
> >> 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.
> >>
> >
> > Thats not possoible imho. It may have expired now, but I remember
> > IBM filed a patent (US) in the late 80's oe earlier 90's on Finite
> > State Machines, The general form of FSM.
> >
> > Such a patent is clearly bogus and the defence of prior art would
> > suceed. But I doubt that any boost author wishes to open themselves
> > up to having to defend a patent writ.
> My meeting with a technology lawyer at Harvard last week led me to
> believe that boost authors are already opened up to having to defend
> against a patent suit. We are responsible for our own actions. No
> matter what we write down, if we violate copyright or patent
> restrictions, we can be held liable.

Yes, but wasn't the point of the license to possibly protect the authors
against lawsuits from _users_ of the library, if it later turns out to
contain patented code? However, is it necessary to do anything about that?
In other words, did CompuServe risk lawsuits from the users of the GIF
format, when it turned out to be patented, and CompuServe was unaware of it?
It seems that the only lawsuits there could be in practice, could be between
patent holders, and users of the code. As you point out here, no disclaimer
can protect against that. However, if that turn out to be the case, as in
the case in case with GIF, you may find a workaround, like a new format,
like PNG.



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