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NewsForge: Sun's No-Op Announcement

Feb 01, 2005, 03:15 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Stallman)

"Last year IBM took a significant step forward in cooperation with the free software community, by offering blanket licenses for 500 of its patents to all free software developers. This does not cover all of IBM's software patents, which must number in the thousands. And there are other areas where IBM does not yet cooperate with the free software community--they have not provided the necessary information to port a free BIOS to ThinkPads, for instance, and they are still pursuing Treacherous Computing. Nonetheless, this is a real step. Recently Sun made an announcement that superficially seems similar. It said that Sun had given us 'free access to Sun OpenSolaris related patents under the Common Development and Distribution License.' But those words do not really make sense. The CDDL is a license for the copyright on software, not a policy for licensing patents. It applies to specific code and nothing else. (Copyright and patents have essentially nothing in common in the requirements they impose on the public...)"

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