Patent issues and 8.1

From: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgreSQL(dot)org>
Subject: Patent issues and 8.1
Date: 2005-01-25 23:13:37
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pgman wrote:
> > Not yet --- I suggested it but didn't get any yeas or nays. I don't
> > feel this is solely core's decision anyway ... what do the assembled
> > hackers think?
> I am not in favor of adjusting the 8.1 release based solely on this
> patent issue. I think the probability of the patent being accepted and
> enforced against anyone using PostgreSQL to be very unlikely. I would
> also like to come up with a procedure that would scale to any other
> patent problems we might have. What if someone finds another patent
> problem during 8.1 beta? Do we shorten the 8.2 development cycle too?
> What I would like to do is to pledge that we will put out an 8.0.X to
> address any patent conflict experienced by our users. This would
> include ARC or anything else. This way we don't focus just on ARC but
> have a plan for any patent issues that appear, and we don't have to
> adjust our development cycle until an actual threat appears.
> One advantage we have is that we can easily adjust our code to work
> around patented code by just installing a new binary. (Patents that
> affect our storage format would be more difficult. A fix would have to
> perhaps rewrite the on-disk data.)
> One problem in working around the GIF format patent is that you had to
> create a file that was readable by many of the existing GIF readers.
> With PostgreSQL, only we read our own data files so we can more easily
> make adjustments to avoid patents.

I did not see any reaction to my ideas above. Is this a good plan?

Bruce Momjian |
pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us | (610) 359-1001
+ If your life is a hard drive, | 13 Roberts Road
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