On Sat, 2007-06-30 at 20:35 -0700, Brian Matherly wrote:
> >2. GPL3 prohibits the patent deals where a party can make a deal
> >with the patent holder so that the users that get software only
> >through the party are allowed to use the patent, and all other
> >users that get software elsewhere may be sued by the patent holder.
> >We want the users to have a complete freedom to use modify gramps,
> >no matter where they get the code.
> >As Don put it after the Novell-MS deal:
> > "We wrote the code to be free for all users. Now Microsoft
> > wants to dictate who can and who cannot use our code.
> > This is unacceptable."
> Actually, If Microsoft holds a patent that can be legally upheld against =
a software product, then they can do just that - dictate who can and cannot=
use it. That's the whole purpose of patents. If the offending code happens=
to be GPL3, then the final result is that Microsoft can sue EVERYBODY who =
Yes, if they hold a patent and we infringe it then they can enforce it,
this is true. This concerns both free (GPL2 and GPL3) and proprietary
software. What GPL prohibits is the deals where the patent holder
promises not to sue a subset of the users, e.g. the users that bought
the software through that holder or its affiliates.
The GPL3 says that if you allow some users of software to infringe
(or "license", "use", etc, whatever the term of the day) the patent,
then you must allow *all* users of that software. Either all or none.
Freedom or death, basically.
> Ok. Feel free to do whatever you want. The two reasons you listed above d=
on't convince me. So if it were my time, I wouldn't waste it. But I'm a "if=
it aint broke, don't fix it" kind of person. Nothing seems to be broken he=
re. If it gives you some kind of satisfaction or fulfillment, then I say go=
I disagree. I think something is broken here. If we don't go GPL3,
Microsoft would say that users of gramps are only safe if they
get gramps from Novell or other "good guys". Those users who get
gramps from our sf.net site, our live CD, or elsewhere become
vulnerable to the lawsuits from MS. This is unacceptable. They have
no right to dictate who and how can use the software that we wrote.
I don't know whether there are any patents that are relevant
here and whether gramps infringes on any of those. With things
such as "one-click purchase" and "interactive menu structure"
being patentable, nothing would surprise me.
One can also say that saying "we may sue" is not suing, and further
that suing is not automatically winning the suit. However, GPL3
stops this madness at the very beginning. If we go GPL3 then
MS should either promise peace to all users of gramps, or
MS/Novell cannot distribute it. Fine by me, gramps will stay free
either way. What I'd hate to see the "first-rate" MS-approved
release of gramps and "second-rate," questionable in legal sense,
sf.net or live cd releases.
Just my private opinion,
Alexander Roitman http://gramps-project.org