Subject: Re: brainstorming
From: Benjamin Rossen <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 22:12:33 +0100


I think you do not get the point. 

I know that Philips and Sony are swapping rights under internationally 
recognized patents; and that there is no problem with this. 

I know that the Open Source Community cannot do the same with respect to the 
Proprietary Software Community (I call them the Closed Predatory Community) 
because we are not holding patents on our inventions. [irrespective of 
whether you believe in software patents or not; that is not the debate going 
on here].

I am asking if it is possible to create an homologous reciprocity by using the 
Open Source License in a new way... namely as a contract. 

If we can use our license as a contract (and if copyright law does not give us 
that contract, can we then find the legal basis for making a contract) which 
shall give us something to exchange in return for the right to use the 
patents of the Proprietary Software Community. 

If this could be done, the Proprietary Software Community would not forced to 
forego their patents. If they want to operate in a closed patent protected 
world, they should have the freedom to do so. However, they should then be 
prevented from making any use of the innovations, ideas, patterns, 
algorithms, code and what every else that have been and are being produced by 
the Open Source Community; these being, of course, innovations, ideas, 
patterns, algorithms, code and what every else that might have been patented, 
but that were not patented and were given away on an Open Source License. 

The practical consequences can be illustrated with this example.
Suppose Microsoft used an Open Source innovation in Word. 
Then, all Microsoft Patents which are used in producing Word, would become the 
property of the Open Source Community. 
If Microsoft doesn't want this, then it should be incumbent on Microsoft to 
make sure that no innovations, ideas, patterns, algorithms, code and what 
every else from the Open Source Community can be found in their product. 

At present the Open Source Community is desperately trying to make sure that 
no bits of protected proprietary software are used in Open Source Software. 

Well, let us create a situation where the Proprietary Software Community shall 
be forced to "desperately" make sure that no bits of Open Source innovation 
are used in their software. That shall certainly be desperate, because almost 
everything of value today comes from the Open Source Community. Microsoft is 
not an innovator... it is a predator. 

We must find a way to create an equality of power between the two communities, 
otherwise we may be destroyed by the Closed Predatory Community in the coming 
patent wars. 

Benjamin Rossen 

On Friday 14 January 2005 20:12, Thorsten Glaser wrote:
> No. Swapping patents for Sony and Philips is not a problem, because
> they are patents on actual technical stuff.
> The problem is that people still think that such a thing like
> "software patents" or "patents on computer-implementable
> inventions" (or business models or data structures, for that
> matter) _exists_. It should not, and the more people start to
> deal with it, the less people will fight against it.
> Huh, I hope I didn't sound too RMS-ish ;)
> bye,
> //mirabile