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Re: [pgsql-advocacy] Software Patents

From: Chris Travers <chris(at)travelamericas(dot)com>
To: Andy Astor <andya(at)enterprisedb(dot)com>
Cc: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>,pgsql-www(at)postgresql(dot)org, pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: [pgsql-advocacy] Software Patents
Date: 2005-04-22 03:47:49
Message-ID: 426873E5.3060202@travelamericas.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-www
Just my $0.02

My company supports a wide range of open source software, and we develop 
some software ourselves.

IANAL, this is not legal advice so much as it is advice on how to make 
the community comfortable with your patents.

If your company really wants to have defensive patents, I would suggest 
a public license to them stating that anyone has permission to use them 
provided that they do not sue your company or any of your affiliates for 
patent infringement of any type.  Talk this over with your lawyer and 
maybe look at the Apache 2.x license, or the IBM Public License (OpenAFS 
is released under this license) as an example of how this could be done.

Many of us remember how companies have claimed that their patents were 
to be enforced defensively only until they decided that they might be 
able to gain competitive advantage by suing other companies over them.  
A pledge of non-enforcement is worth very little to our community.  I 
license on condition of non-enforcement of one's own patents, otoh may 
be more helpful.

Best Wishes,
Chris Travers
Metatron Technology Consulting

Andy Astor wrote:

>Oh, btw, I realized that some of you may not know who "we"
>are...EnterpriseDB is a new company coming out with a PostgreSQL-based
>product on May 23. Our site will be up by May 2...also, look for a
>mention in the May edition of Business 2.0...
>
>Anyone who wishes to know more is welcome to contact me.
>
>andy
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Andy Astor 
>Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 10:51 PM
>To: 'Joshua D. Drake'; pgsql-www(at)postgresql(dot)org
>Cc: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
>Subject: RE: [pgsql-advocacy] Software Patents
>
>We, for one (I guess it's not really one...), completely support this
>position, and will be posting an anti-patents policy on our web site.
>Having said that, we will also reserve the right -- as most companies do
>today -- to have patents that are for the exclusive purpose of defending
>ourselves against others' patent infringement suits. Fundamentally, we
>believe software patents are stupid and should be abolished, but we also
>have to deal with the world we live in. (Hey, *I* wrote the first PRINT
>statement. You all owe me money.)
>
>Andy Astor, President
>EnterpriseDB Corporation
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: pgsql-advocacy-owner(at)postgresql(dot)org
>[mailto:pgsql-advocacy-owner(at)postgresql(dot)org] On Behalf Of Joshua D.
>Drake
>Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 10:14 PM
>To: pgsql-www(at)postgresql(dot)org
>Cc: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
>Subject: [pgsql-advocacy] Software Patents
>
>Hello,
>
>Originally I was against the idea of putting up a no software patents
>logo/banner/statement etc... on the website.
>
>After recent events within Command Prompt, including some expensive
>legal fees to convince certain customers that there is not a chance
>in the world that we would sign a indemnification agreement that
>included patents in the definition, I have changed my mind.
>
>I would like to propose that we put a no software patents logo up.
>Command Prompt would also follow suit, and it would be great if the
>other companies such as Greenplum, SRA, PgSQL, Inc. etc, all did the
>same.
>
>Kind of like the PostgreSQL patent-free ring ;)
>
>Sincerely,
>
>Joshua D. Drake
>
>
>  
>


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