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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..."

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