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Re: Oracle indemnifies PostgreSQL on its patents

From: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
Cc: Luke Lonergan <llonergan(at)greenplum(dot)com>, Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>, PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Oracle indemnifies PostgreSQL on its patents
Date: 2007-03-31 18:32:18
Message-ID: 7338.1175365938@sss.pgh.pa.us (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
"Joshua D. Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com> writes:
> If Oracle truly (or IBM etc..) really was interested in "Protecting 
> Linux" or other FOSS software, they would put the patent in the public 
> domain.

No, you miss the point of OIN.  Doing the above might make FOSS
developers free from the particular patent, but it would do nothing
to defend against the vast sea of other patents out there.

The idea of OIN is to have a large patent pool that can be
counter-asserted against anyone who doesn't want to play nice.
Mutual assured destruction in the patent sphere, if you will.

According to the cited article, Oracle hasn't donated any of their
patents to the pool (if they had, that *would* be impressive) but
they have cross-licensed their patents with those held by OIN,
ie, they've promised to play nice.

I tend to agree that we shouldn't trust Oracle further than we can
throw them, so I'm not about to go out and start looking for Oracle
patents we could use, but this does seem to remove the threat of
being blindsided from that quarter.  Now we just have to worry about
Microsoft ...

			regards, tom lane

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