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Should an Open Source Licence Ever Be Patent-Agnostic?

Apr 11, 2009, 20:01 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glyn Mody)

"The proposed licence is closely modelled on the Mozilla Public Licence (MPL). In his submission to the OSI, the well-known free software activist Carlo Piana explains the key difference:

"As you will notice, we have removed some of the patent conditions that existed in the MPL. This is because none of the contributors would have accepted to encapsulate their patents in a FOSS license without the ability to ask for a license separately from the copyright. This is a basic tenet that is enshrined in the so-called ISO/IEC Directives for the development of International Standards. Some of you might know about my public stance against software patents and my approval to some of the licenses which impose implied licensing to or patent retaliation against all who distribute FOSS software while relying on patent protection. However, the sad truth is that if we did not offer a patent-agnostic license we would have made all efforts to have an open source reference implementation moot."

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