Re: GLib plans for the next cycle

On Sun, 19 Apr 2009, Havoc Pennington wrote:

> I think my arguments are compelling. If someone else thinks
> differently, they can say so, and explain their reasoning...
> The bottom line is that dbus has an MIT/X11-equivalent license, with
> the addition of a *weaker* patent clause than LGPL/GPL already have.
> The license was written by a lawyer and is perfectly sane.

"Sane" and "written by a lawyer" are surely orthogonal to
desirability from the point of view of free software.

Havoc wrote in his blog:

"I believe if you distributed D-Bus under GPL or LGPL, you would
be making a patent grant of any patents affecting D-Bus. The AFL
patent clause does not require you to make a patent grant; it
still allows you to sue. You just have to stop distributing D-Bus
while you do it. With the GPL or LGPL, you can never distribute in
the first place, without giving up the right to sue at all. Unless
I'm missing something, there's no way the AFL patent clause can be
a problem unless LGPL or GPL would be a problem in the same

IANAL, but... Hypothesis: Monster Corp distributes D-BUS under
AFL, while believing that DB in fact violates patents held by
Monster Corp.  MC then sues users of DB.  MC can no longer
distribute DB under AFL, but they don't care!  They have succeeded
in causing trouble.  But as Havoc says, if Monster Corp had
distributed DB under *GPL they would have effectively made a
patent grant and given up the right to sue, making this scenario

OK, maybe there's no Monster Corp associated with D-BUS right now,
but we know there _are_ such monsters around.  This seems to me a
_major_ reason to see *GPL as superior to AFL from the p.o.v. of
free software.

Allin Cottrell

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