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From: Fernando Cacciola (fcacciola_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-06-28 13:06:06

"Alexander Terekhov" <terekhov_at_[hidden]> escribió en el mensaje
> Fernando Cacciola wrote:
> >
> > Alexander Terekhov <terekhov_at_[hidden]> wrote in message
> >
> > >
> > > Fernando Cacciola wrote:
> > > [...]
> > > > Motivated by A. Terekhov concerns, I think the license should, if at all
> > > > possible, expressely PROHIBIT anyone, including the copyright holder,
> > > > from patenting the covered Software and any implied intellectual production.
> > >
> > > That would make no sense.
> > >
> > Why?
> Because a patent protects against the unauthorized manufacture,
> use, sale... {subset of} rights that *ARE GRANTED* by a license
> {subject to whatever requirements} we're discussing here.
I don't understand.
Isn't the license and its copyright notice itself which protects those rights?
If we only seek to retain the copyright notice which each _copy_, as required by the
license, do we _need_ a patent? I think not.

AFAICT, a patent gives you far more rights than those expressed in the copyright
notice, and in particular, gives you right to _control_ the use of the covered subject by,
for example, requiring a royalty for each use of it. This is far more than what we
really need, isn't it?

Maybe you saw nonsense in disallowing the boost developers ourselves
to issue a pantent on our own software. Well, the intention is to reduce
loopholes: without this provision, I might be forced to prove that I am
the orginal developer (names are far from unique).

> Also, a public disclosure of an invention prior to the patent
> application renders the invention no longer "novel" under the
> IP laws of almost all countries outside North America.
I see.
If I understood correctly, this means that the release itself prohibits
_further_ patents to be registered on the software. Is that right?
But as you say this does not apply in the USA, so a express
provision is still necesary.

> Finally,
> AFAICS, a sort of "common practice" at companies practicing
> "the open source" (e.g. IBM) is to seek the patent protection
> and grant rights to the open source community (again: CPL *is*
> the preferred license) but seek "compensation" from the
> proprietary "closed source" competitors. What's wrong with that?
Nothing is wrong with that per see, it is a matter of goals.
Companies like IBM do businesses with their software, thus it makes sense
for them to seek patent protection, because patents regulates competition.
But competition is the key to evolution, so to the users and computing comunity
at large, patents are a BIG nuisance.

I don't think boost developers really want to protect themselves against comptetition,
we just want to retain credit for what we originally did, but via a simple mechanism.
Retaining _copy_ rights is far more easier than retaining _intellectual_ rights.

Currently, anyone can write from scratch the smart pointer libraries under his own name.
We cannot protect that without a patent, right, but my guess is that boost developers don't
really care, otherwise, we wouldn't release our work through boost.

Fernando Cacciola

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