Re: Patent issues and 8.1

From: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: "Marc G(dot) Fournier" <scrappy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Cc: PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Patent issues and 8.1
Date: 2005-01-25 23:31:11
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Marc G. Fournier wrote:
> >> 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?
> No, as an 8.0.x is mean to be for minor changes/fixes/improvements ...
> 'addressing a patnt conflict', at least in ARC's case, is a major change,
> which is why we are looking at a short dev cycle for 8.1 ...

So if we have to address it we call it 8.0.7 or something. My point is
that we don't need to address it until we actually find out the patent
is being enforced against someone, and that possibility is quite unlikely.

By changing our development cycle just on the threat of a problem we are
basically saying any patent holder can hinder PostgreSQL development by
suggesting there is a patent problem but not actually doing anything
that will give them bad press. The threat of bad press might be the
only thing that is prevents us from being attacked by patents.

Bruce Momjian |
pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us | (610) 359-1001
+ If your life is a hard drive, | 13 Roberts Road
+ Christ can be your backup. | Newtown Square, Pennsylvania 19073

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