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From: Mingnan Guo (hnxgc_pub_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-11-28 19:36:09

Can any body grant BSL license with some conditions, such as only free for
  non-commercial use, or free for small-entities (a company with less than 30 employees)?
  I guess this type of license will be disallowed for its pollution to the BSL, am i right?
  -Mingnan Guo
Sebastian Redl <sebastian.redl_at_[hidden]> wrote:
  The BSL does not say anything about patents. However, it does say that
it grants permission for anyone to use the library free of charge, for
any purpose. If you know about patents covering the library, and cannot
guarantee that a license to these patents is given to every user of the
library free of charge (for example, by being the holder of said patents
and giving this guarantee in a legally binding way), then you are in no
position to grant this license. In fact, simply by releasing the
software under the license, in the full knowledge that it uses the
patented technology (and you'll convince no one that you didn't know
about your own patents), it could be argued that are giving a general
license for the patents to everyone. Or even if that is not the case, it
could be argued that you acted in bad faith when releasing the library,
and any subsequent attempt to demand license fees will fail.

So, if you release the software under the BSL (or pretty much any other
open-source license, even the simple BSD license), you might as well not
patent the technique at all.

My opinion. IANAL, though, and my legal knowledge is limited to the laws
of Austria, where software patents are technically impossible, anyway.

Sebastian Redl
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