Subject: Re: license with patent grants appropriate for specifications?
From: Chuck Swiger <>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 14:28:08 -0500

On Jan 19, 2005, at 1:45 PM, Bob Scheifler wrote:
>> What you say here is true, but if the original software is 
>> OSD-compliant, then
>> the patent license(s) for the original software need also be freely 
>> available
>> to non-conforming applications.  OSD #3 states: "The license must 
>> allow
>> modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be 
>> distributed under
>> the same terms as the license of the original software."
> One might read OSD #3 narrowly as only speaking to copyright rights,
> not patent rights. Is it commonly understood to encompass both?

Excellent question.  I won't repeat my opinion, and I would be curious 
to hear what other people have to say in response.

> If the open source license itself contains no patent license at all,
> how is OSD #3 violated by the existence or non-existence of external
> patent licenses of any form, when OSD #3 only references the open
> source license itself?

OSD #3 references the open source license itself, agreed.

That license is associated with software to which the license is 
attached to.  If the software is freely available (per OSD #1), and its 
license complies with all of the OSD terms, the license and the 
software governed by that license is "OSI Open Source".

If someone decided to release software under the BSD license but demand 
per-user royalties because they claim their software needs a patent 
license, the fact that the BSD license is OSI-approved does not suffice 
to make their software open, nor would I be willing describe that 
software as "OSI Open Source".