ITBusinessEdge: Legally Speaking: What GPLv3 Means for the Microsoft-Novell Pact
Mar 08, 2007, 16:00 (3 Talkback[s])
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"Question: Assuming for the sake of argument
that the GPL v3 terms as described in the Boston.com article were
in effect when the Microsoft-Novell agreement was reached, how can
Microsoft be bound by them considering Microsoft is not the vendor
that has released software code under that particular license? Is
it merely a matter of how the deal was structured between them?
"Tease: Unlike prior versions of the GNU
General Public License (GPL), which did not address patent rights,
the current draft of the GPL version 3 has several provisions that
address patent rights. Section 2 states that the license to use the
open source code 'terminates... if you bring suit against anyone
for patent infringement of any of your essential patent claims'
based on any version of the open source program. An 'essential
patent claim' is a patent claim that would give someone permission
to make, use or sell the program..."