Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

GPL Revision Coming Soon

Comments Filter:
  • GPL vs MS EULA's (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gentoo Fan (643403) on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:43PM (#10890081) Homepage
    I know it's mostly apples to oranges, but considering how infrequently the GPL is updated comparing this with both the size and likely tweaking of a standard MS EULA would hopefully be a good arguing point with possible Linux converts. Anyone know of a repository of EULAs and how frequently they get updated?
    • Damn, I had just that idea a few years ago. The downside is that you have to buy every product that you want the EULA for.
      • On second thought MS would probably cry "copyright infringment!" on a site with all their various EULA's (I'm guessing). But I can just imagine all the work done in their legal department just for crafting or updating EULA's for each new big release.
        • by DunbarTheInept (764) on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:13PM (#10890369) Homepage
          They can have it one way or another, but not both. Either EULAs are enforcable contracts entered into willingly and knowingly by both parties, in which case they [b]must[/b] be publicly visible to the consumer BEFORE they make the purchase, or they aren't. If you hide a contract from one of the parties involved until after it is agreed to, then it should not be enforcable.

          Of course, that was me living in my fantasy world where the courts are doing their job with fair minded justice and honesty. I now return you to reality, in which EULAs are both proprietary secret documents and enforcable documents.
          • Re:GPL vs MS EULA's (Score:5, Informative)

            by 0racle (667029) on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:27PM (#10890516)
            I have this bad habbit of bringing facts to the irrational discussions on Slashdot.
            they [b]must[/b] be publicly visible

            Have you ever looked? Here let me help
            Windows XP Home here [microsoft.com]
            Windows 98 Downloads here [microsoft.com]
            A whole bunch more [clendons.co.nz]
      • Damn, I had just that idea a few years ago. The downside is that you have to buy every product that you want the EULA for.

        But you could return it saying you didn't agree with the EULA :-)
  • New Terms (Score:5, Funny)

    by InfiniteWisdom (530090) on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:44PM (#10890088) Homepage
    Since RMS's office is now in the Gates building, maybe he has been assimilated and GPL v3 will include terms allowing Microsoft to make use of GPLed code and not release their sources, since the GPL has t erms allowing you to use a subsequent version
    • by mirko (198274) on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:49PM (#10890153) Journal
      If it's like Windows, it'll shortly be updated to GPL v3.1, then to GPL95.
    • That's one way to close up all the open software. The GPL provides for redistribution under that version of the GPL, or any later version. Microsoft could have RMS killed, and then forcefully take ownership of the FSF. They would right a new GPL to their advantage, and then "release" all of the currently GPL'ed software to themselves under their new license.
      • Re:New Terms (Score:3, Insightful)

        by m50d (797211)
        The FSF is a charity. Just how would MS "forcefully take ownership"?
      • But versions that are already released, could continue to be distributed under the current GPL. So MS would get an unfair advantage, but the rest of the world would continue. (With some other GPL-like license for any new software, no doubt.)
      • Re:New Terms (Score:3, Informative)

        by pthisis (27352)
        The GPL provides for redistribution under that version of the GPL, or any later version.

        No, it doesn't. The recommended language for using the GPL suggests that you allow that, but the license itself doesn't require it.

        A number of prominent authors (I believe Alan Cox is one) release only under v2 for precisely this reason.

        Note, too, that the standard copyright disclaimer you sign if you're releasing software to the FSF has language in it that terminates those rights if they distribute under a non-free
        • Re:New Terms (Score:3, Informative)

          by PugMajere (32183)
          Alan Cox is definitely not one of them.

          Linux Torvalds, however, distributes the Linux kernel under that license.

          See This post (and thread) [iu.edu] on the linux-kernel list.
    • Re:New Terms (Score:3, Informative)

      by cpeikert (9457)
      Since RMS's office is now in the Gates building...

      Actually, it's not -- it's between the Gates and Dreyfoos Towers, but "officially" on the Dreyfoos side. See? [mit.edu]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:45PM (#10890090)
    "By using this software, you agree that Microsoft is teh suxx0rz!!!!"
  • Hopefully they will fix the kernel panic issue...
  • by m50d (797211) on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:46PM (#10890103) Homepage Journal
    Will this version become comptiable with licenses with patent clauses, like the apache, IBM and CPL licenses?
    • That's a biggie for me at the moment... I'm faced with rewriting all my code to not use GPL libraries or code simply because I want to license under Apache or Sendmail licenses (not decided which, but leaning towards the Sendmail one). It's not like I want to make anything proprietary or closed - in fact I want to *remove* restrictions but the GPL as currently worded won't let me.
      • by eison (56778) <`moc.liamtoh' `ta' `nosietkp'> on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:33PM (#10890572) Homepage
        Afraid that is the *point* of the GPL.

        The GPL is pushing a political agenda: "preserve, protect and promote the freedom to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer software." (from front page of gnu.org)

        That restriction is the #1 thing that does support that agenda - if people find GPLed code useful enough that they want to use it, they will need to let others do likewise when they distribute their code.

        I find it's not always what I want to do with my code (my agenda is often more in line with BSD), but it strikes me as genius in this means to achieve its end.
  • by dbretton (242493) on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:46PM (#10890111) Homepage

    They're trying to drain our precious bodily fluids...
  • Good :) (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I got mod points to burn, so I'll shoot...

    Hopefully, they'll include the clause to allow companies to tahe GPL'd software, rip the copyrights out, and incorporate it into their own products and claim ownership.

    This would solve the "problems" with the GPL all the "analysts" keep huffing and puffing about, and would allow our good friends at MS to use GPL code in their products and file suits against the authors who wrote it for "copyright violations."

    FLAME ON!!! >:)
  • by Neil Blender (555885) <neilblender@gmail.com> on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:48PM (#10890131)
    It is now known as the GNU/GPL license.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The GPL works very well at the moment. Introducing a new version could confuse what is at the moment a very easy to understand concept-- if you alter GPLed code you have to let everyone use your alterations as GPLed code as well-- as well as creating schisms in OSS development. As far as I am aware some software-- including the Linux kernel if I'm not incorrect-- don't license to the GPL itself or "GPL 2 or later", they license to one specific version.

    The open source community is going to have to deal with
    • As far as I am aware some software-- including the Linux kernel if I'm not incorrect-- don't license to the GPL itself or "GPL 2 or later", they license to one specific version.

      That seems very sensible. In fact, it amazes me that (AFAIK) none of the megacorps has yet tried to assimilate AnyGPL'd code on the basis that the licence under which it was distributed was GPL version 19,754, as defined by MegaCorp, Inc., and they therefore have full rights (and no-one else has any). The idea of licensing softwa

      • In fact, it amazes me that (AFAIK) none of the megacorps has yet tried to assimilate AnyGPL'd code on the basis that the licence under which it was distributed was GPL version 19,754, as defined by MegaCorp, Inc., and they therefore have full rights (and no-one else has any).

        I think you are missing the fact that the GPL itself is covered by copyright. You cannot distribute a work (i.e. license) derived from the GPL without the permission of the copyright holder (the FSF).

    • A problem with the GPL, other than patents, is the use of GPL software in a network setting. Let's say I set up a web server, and offer a service to customers, using a modified piece of GPL licensed software. Let's say it's a PHP CMS, for example.

      I'm not technically distributing the software, I'm letting people use it, so I'm not required to distribute my changes to my customers or whoever asks for the source. At least, that's how some see it.

      A revision to the GPL could eliminate the confusion, and state
      • The FSF has been working with Affero to address this issue. Check out the list of GPL-incompatible free software licenses [gnu.org] under the section called "Affero General Public License" which says:

        The Affero General Public License is a free software license, copyleft, and incompatible with the GNU GPL. It consists of the GNU GPL version 2, with one additional section that Affero added with FSF approval. The new section, 2(d), covers the distribution of application programs through web services or computer netw

    • by jbn-o (555068) <mail@digitalcitizen.info> on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:48PM (#10890684) Homepage

      The GPL works very well at the moment. Introducing a new version could confuse what is at the moment a very easy to understand concept-- if you alter GPLed code you have to let everyone use your alterations as GPLed code as well-- as well as creating schisms in OSS development.

      Actually, private derivatives are allowed. Having the freedom to make derivatives one does not share with others in any form is required by the definition of free software [gnu.org]:

      You should also have the freedom to make modifications and use them privately in your own work or play, without even mentioning that they exist.

      Also, use of a program (that is, merely executing the program) is not a power regulated by US copyright law. And the GPLv2 specifically states that it does not control this activity:

      Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not covered by this License; they are outside its scope. The act of running the Program is not restricted [...]

      So, no, "if you alter GPLed code you have to let everyone use your alterations as GPLed code as well" is untrue.

      Also, you have (perhaps inadvertantly) repeated one of the most misleading parts of the article (and the editorial linked to the article): Associating the GPL with the open source movement profound miscredits who did what and what goals the GPL was written to achieve.

      This latest revision of the GPL has almost nothing to do with "OSS" development. The open source movement (which doesn't like to talk about software freedom [gnu.org]) did not exist when the current version of the GPL (version 2) was written. The free software movement (which is based on software freedom) predates the open source movement by over a decade. This upcoming version (version 3) of the GPL will be the first version of the GPL written since the open source movement started. As far as I know, nobody from the open source movement is writing the next revision of the GPL; it is still written by the people at the FSF (most notably, RMS and Eben Moglen, both of whom make it quite clear in their speeches that they are doing work to promote software freedom). So, the open source movement is receiving a great deal of credit for work it did not do and the danger of tying the GPL with the open source movement is that the open source movement's philosophy, which doesn't object to proprietary software, will be conflated with a license built to create and maintain a commons where software freedom is the rule.

  • Wonderful (Score:2, Funny)

    by Moth7 (699815)
    Just as version 2 was/is being tested in court we have to go for a new license which will no doubt leave us open to all sorts of patent problems that those untested proprietary licenses don't have. The end is nigh
  • Changes to the GPL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KJACK98 (623902) on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:48PM (#10890142)
    For me the weaknesses that need to be addressed in the GPL are most definitely patents, the confusion around dynamic/static compiling + web services. Get rid of this issue of two licenses (GPL/LGPL/ or the new trend that is even more confusing GPL + Linking Clause?!?) which causes a lot of problems for reuse of code. Having a 'viral license' just scares corporate use of our code. Other issues are enforcement of trademarks, so that companies can have commercial offerings by offering a particular 'brand'. At the end of the day the license must continue to protect its most important aspect, that all code changes to the software must be contributed back - preferably in a free downloadable manner (mailing $15 for the source code when the binary is available free online goes against its principles).
    • That's annoying but not indefensible. Demanding hundreds of dollars for a CD mailed domestically or providing the source as large a printed document would be, imho.

      This raises an interesting question. Let's say I have a program for a niche market and there are commercial competitors. I provide the binaries online but distribute the source via a CD.

      Buried in my code is a statement, perhaps in a function, is a statement like:

      static const char[] xid = "alk24lCAmql4==";

      which I might claim is a source
      • Even if you could only distribute the source by CD (you can't [slashdot.org]), I'm really not quite certain how it would tie the source to a particular CD. If they got the source and were using it in their proprietary (Free can be commercial too) project, couldn't they just remove the statement? And before you say "how would they find it," doesn't the compiler generate a warning when there are unused variables?

        Then again, most companies stupid enough to infringe GPL software at all are also too stupid to remove all the
      • Does that violate the GPL?"

        If you do what you seem to be implying then Yes, it would.

        You must make the source code available essentially by the same means as you made the binary available. So if you only distributed the binary on CD, you dont need to make source code available online. But if your binary is online, then you must make the source available online by essentially the same means.

        You must also distribute and licence via the GPL the actual code used, not merely a functionally equivalent piece
    • by mrchaotica (681592) on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:11PM (#10890350)
      mailing $15 for the source code when the binary is available free online goes against its principles
      According to the GPL FAQ [gnu.org], that's already disallowed:

      Does the GPL allow me to charge a fee for downloading the program from my site?

      Yes. You can charge any fee you wish for distributing a copy of the program. If you distribute binaries by download, you must provide "equivalent access" to download the source--therefore, the fee to download source may not be greater than the fee to download the binary.

    • I think they should consider the possibility of a company modifying the code and distributing it to employees (without source). What if they claim that's not redistributing derived code because it's still in the company? Now picture a coalition of companies that act as a single entity for purposes of maintaining their own version of GPLed software for internal use within the entity.

      BTW, Forcing people to "give back" to those they got code from is a bad thing and is not how it's written today. That disallow

  • Finally (Score:5, Informative)

    by lakeland (218447) <lakeland@acm.org> on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:50PM (#10890162) Homepage
    The lack of explicit answers to questions about remote linking and the like are causing increasing problems with the GPL. Currently, you can not statically link to a GPLed library, nor can you dynamically link. However I believe you can dlopen a GPLed library as well as including the functionality in another program which you communicate to via RPC, provided that your program is functionally still useful without the helper program. Further, you may not link against a GPLed appliation but you may communicate with it via RPC, TCP, etc. Finally, you only need to give a copy of the source to a person who you give a copy of the binary to. This of course means that you can put a GPLed application on your webserver and you never have to give the source to anybody if you so choose, even if you make the output freely available, or if use of your application only makes sense by remote execution. So what does 'distribute' mean in this interconnected world? If I can ssh into a box and run a binary, has it been distributed to me? What if I can run it via a web server? Or a caching proxy? And I understand you don't have to release source provided you only use the application internally, but the definition of internally has a few surprises for most lay people.

    Now, did anybody follow all that? And I'm not even sure I got it all right. The next version will be long overdue.
    • In fact, if you dlopen or RPC your program doesn't even have to be useful without the GPL code... if you're not linking then the GPL doesn't cover it.

      It's really wierd, but the GPL was written in far simpler times...
    • Re:Finally (Score:3, Interesting)

      by temojen (678985)

      Currently, you can not statically link to a GPLed library...

      That's why we have the LGPL.

      This of course means that you can put a GPLed application on your webserver and you never have to give the source to anybody if you so choose...

      Good. Most of the local modifications to GPL'd web-apps would only be needed by people building a website competeing with the author's. Any that are not only of interest to the author should be shared with the community, and that's how the existing system works.

      So what do

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:51PM (#10890168)
    You can measure the wisdom of a law document by how *rarely* it gets updated. 13 years is impressively long for a field as dynamically changing as computing. Nice work.
  • SUE GPL! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Evil W1zard (832703) on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:54PM (#10890211) Journal
    I heard Marvel is going to sue the creators of the GPL due to the fact that various words and phrases from the document can be mixed around and formed into well-known Marvel comic-book hero quotes.

  • by Spoing (152917) on Monday November 22, 2004 @02:58PM (#10890234) Homepage
    III.j. For justice, all your base are belong to us.
  • Authored by... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RealProgrammer (723725) on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:02PM (#10890278) Homepage Journal
    According to TFA, GPL 3 will be authored by Eben Moglen and RMS.

    That's all fine and everything, since the current GPL got to us that way.

    I will be shocked and dismayed if they don't open up the process, though. The GPL is more fundamental to FOSS than any other document, and I'd hate to see it developed in a cathedral.

    They'll surely do it as an open collaboration.
    • If they opened up discussion to the public at large then the various terms of the license used in intermediate versions that were later discarded would inevitably end up in some jackass's license, somewhere, because he liked that additional term. This would sow chaos and confusion as everyone used their own form of the GPL rather than the standard GPL.
    • Re:Authored by... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by nothings (597917) on Monday November 22, 2004 @04:30PM (#10891153) Homepage
      According to TFA, GPL 3 will be authored by Eben Moglen and RMS.

      [...]

      I will be shocked and dismayed if they don't open up the process, though. [...] They'll surely do it as an open collaboration.

      If you read the second page of TFA:

      There is also a great deal of work to be done to allow the large number of stakeholders who have grown up around the GPL to have an opportunity to express Opinions and to have their thoughts taken into account in trying to frame the best possible license, Moglen said.
  • GPL Server Hole (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SashaM (520334) <`msasha' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:05PM (#10890302) Homepage
    Hopefully they will plug the server hole [gnu.org]. As it stands right now, the GPL makes no sense for server-side applications.
    • Problem is that in this case the code for the server is only a small part of the application. Lets say you had thesource code to an Amazon or an Ebay, without the customers and the data and in the case of Amazon the warehouse full of real world goods it won't do you much good.
    • IANAL and I haven't really followed the "server hole" debates, so I'm really ignorant of this subject. That said, it sounds like the gist of the discussion is that people are trying to find a way to require that web applications built on GPL components must itself be GPLed. If that's correct, how would this affect LAMP applications that are built with MySQL? Would switching to PostgreSQL be the only legitimate way to keep such applications "closed"?

      By the way, to my untrained eye the Affero GPL [affero.org] (an alt

  • look here: http://web.novalis.org/history-of-fsm/slide-47.htm l in this page shows a link to the license that inspired the update the would become GPL version 3
  • An interesting quote from the article:

    if the FSF uses its leverage correctly, it could affect what kinds of trust are recognized in the network.

    "But if we don't use our leverage correctly, we could wind up in a world where free software is injured very badly, where you can modify code but you cannot do anything with that modified code because the hardware will not run that code because it cannot be signed 'Microsoft or IBM,'" he said. "If that happens, free software will be excluded from hardware, and th
  • Prototype (Score:4, Informative)

    by retostamm (91978) on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:17PM (#10890404) Homepage
    According to this slide [novalis.org] the Affero GPL [affero.org] is a prototype.
  • by Swamii (594522) on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:17PM (#10890420) Homepage
    Thou Shalt Not Commit Thy Software for Commerce

    Thou Shalt Smite Thy Microsoftie

    Thou Shalt Bow To Thy Benovolent Leader RMS Thy God And Have Ye No Other God Before Him

    That Shalt Not Take the Name of GNU/Linux In Vain

    Thou Shalt Mod Down the unholy SlashDot Troll, For He is an Abomination unto Thee

    Thou Shalt Not Click on false Gmail Links

    Thou Shalt Not Fall to the Evil Seductress BSD, for She is an Unrighteous Whore Unto Thee

    Thou Shalt Close Thine Ears Upon Hearing the False Testimony of the SCO, the Lies of TCO, and the injustices of the CMDRTCO.

    Thou Shalt Moderate this Post to the Heavens, That All The Earth May Know of the Great And Fearful GPL.
  • Screw Up ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by noselasd (594905) on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:29PM (#10890528)
    Lets hope they don't screw up . You know the existing GPL has a clause:
    "9. The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions
    of the General Public License from time to time. "

    Lots of work ships with the "any later version" clause ..
  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:34PM (#10890575)
    The fact that people care about things like the GPL makes the effort of living on this planet worthwhile. It's nice to know so firmly what side of the fence one is on. The IP wars are one of today's most amazingly metaphoric and clearly delineated battle grounds of the Human spirit.

    Those who create and wish to share are the Good Guys, while the Bad Guys are vile lawyers and manipulative billionaires. This corner of reality is like living in the pages of a four-color comic book.


    -FL

    • Those who create and wish to share are the Good Guys, while the Bad Guys are vile lawyers and manipulative billionaires. This corner of reality is like living in the pages of a four-color comic book.

      What about the Guy Who Wants to Make a Few Bucks Writing Useful Software So He Can Pay His Rent? He wants to create and share, but would like to earn a living wage doing it. Is he a Bad Guy, too?

      What about the vile lawyers who work for the FSF?

      Why aren't there any shades of gray?*

      *I know. I must be new here.

      • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Monday November 22, 2004 @06:44PM (#10892664)
        There is nothing wrong with making money.

        People need energy to live and produce. To create, one must consume. The trick is living in balance. --In making as clear and uncluttered a conduit of power out of yourself as possible. The level of clarity is determined by your Intent.

        The Bad Guys are the ones who have knots tied in their systems; they are more interested in one-way transactions of energy, or coming as close to achieving one-way transactions as they can manage. Accumulating power for themselves is more important than in feeding the overall system of which they are a part.

        When people join with the ethic of feeding easily to those who need, (but only to those who share the same ethic, otherwise the system is bled), as well as taking from the system when they themselves are in need, then the whole grows out of proportion to the sum of its parts. I don't think it is possible to create energy from nothing, but I think that these types of systems appear to do so because they have a way of grooving themselves to more easily accept and polarize the ambient energy of the world around.

        --For example. . . When several people are working on an exciting and worthy project, others who are not even associated with that group feel compelled to help out or offer resources. I see this happen all the time.


        -FL

      • You know, this is getting repetitive, but if you don't like GPL rules, don't play the GPL game. Oh? You want to play with GPL code but you don't like it's rules? Tough. Find some code under some other licence. Nothing is stopping you from making a few bucks - look at Bram Cohen. Vilifying FSF's lawyers is cheap.

        If your idea of grey is this black and white, you're not just new here. You're working for The Other Side.

  • by Enrico Pulatzo (536675) on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:35PM (#10890587)
    finally removes the word "suckers" and is totally written in leetspeak.
  • Most of the article seems to talk about changing the GPL to help defend free software against patent attacks.

    I'm not sure if this will be possible. Defending against someone infringing on your copyright is easily done with a license (as the GPL currently does), but someone with a patent need not agree to anything before trying to sue to pants off of you.

    Perhaps they plan to put a stipulation in the GPL that prevents you from suing others for software patent infringement if you use GPL software? If they do
  • by SamNmaX (613567) on Monday November 22, 2004 @03:53PM (#10890731)
    While we won't know yet, a big issue with all this is how compatible the licences will be with each other. While there is a fair amount of software that says it's compatible with GPL 2 or greater, much is specifically locked to a specific version.

    For this type of software, will we be able to use it in software that's under GPL 3? GPL 2 won't allow for additional restrictions, nor will it allow being mixed with other software that isn't under GPL 2.

    As far as I can see, the only way that GPL 3 can allow compatibility if you are able to 'downgrade' to GPL 2. If that option is available, that may make it difficult if not impossible to achieve the goals that the FSF has in mind.

    Another possibility is to try to get the original authors to rerelease their software under the new licence. This may be possible in cases where a central authority has the redistribution rights to do this (such as the FSF has with much of their software), but a lot of GPL'd software isn't quite so careful. Many patches may have been included into a piece of software not by giving full redistribution rights but instead under licence of GPL 2, in which case those authors technically need to be contacted to allow for their use in GPL 3 software.

    Another possibility is that it could split the set of GPL software in two: one under GPL 2, and another under GPL 3. I have a feeling this won't happen, but it wouldn't be great. People of like minds who want to share their software would not be able to simply because of licensing issues that may be too hard to resolve at this point.

    Anyway, I'm sure Moglen and RMS are taking this into account while they work on the licence. I hope it's put together in an open manner, so that all these kinds of issues are addressed.

    • While we won't know yet, a big issue with all this is how compatible the licences will be with each other. While there is a fair amount of software that says it's compatible with GPL 2 or greater, much is specifically locked to a specific version.

      The last sentence of the article:

      The primary goal is ensuring that code licensed under the current version of the GPL, Version 2, can be combined with code licensed under Version 3, said officials of the Boston-based FSF.
  • by abertoll (460221) on Monday November 22, 2004 @04:19PM (#10891040) Homepage Journal
    I noticed the link in the article about SCO saying that the GPL is unconstitutional.

    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1581586,00. as p

    My question is:
    Has SCO ever indicated which part of the Constitution the GPL violates? Or is it just a general statement without any backing?

    Can someone provide the section of the Constitution that the GPL specifically violates, that other licesnes (such as the ones SCO uses) wouldn't?

  • by expro (597113) on Monday November 22, 2004 @04:41PM (#10891252)

    I have significant code I have been working on for some time. I have placed GPL language at the top, etc. in anticipation that I would publish it as soon as I felt I and it were ready.

    One thing stopping me is that the code has lots of quite new ideas in it that I feel could become quickly widespread in use, in some cases as an alternative to existing, increasingly encumbered and controlled, standards.

    I feel that it may be good to take out lots of patent claims, not that I feel that offensive patent use is ever justified, but that I see Microsoft patent around such things as XML.

    I would like to stop them or anyone else to the extent from patenting use of the technology for X or Y (as Microsoft does with XML, for example), when it is obvious to anyone that it is a technology that is general purpose in nature and should be open to all uses.

    I need to discuss this sort of thing, preferrably on a forum with someone actively pursuing FSF agendas to talk about the pitfalls and what might be possible in this respect. I would be perfectly happy signing patent rights to a third party as long as they could be used defensively by myself and others to the widest extent possible.

    (Let me make it clear that it would not be my intent to use such to control or enforce a particular usage in any way, as Sun or Microsoft, for example, often try to do when making a "public" grant).

    • You can copyright your code (it is copyrighted automatically but paying the nominal fee to do so explicitly will help in any future legal hassles) and achieve the same effect. If Microsoft goes for a similar patent to one of yours, chances are they'll get it anyway. The number of conflicting patents is only going to grow as prior art searches become next-to-impossible and overly-broad patents keep getting granted.

      Patents are very expensive to file, and if you want more than just a US patent you need to

Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.

Working...