Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 2nd Nov 2006 22:05 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Novell and Ximian At a press conference in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to announce a new partnership between Microsoft and Novell. The unprecedented deal will have Microsoft offering a degree of sales support for Novell's SUSE Linux while both companies work towards better interoperability between their respective operating systems. As part of the agreement, Microsoft also promises not to wield its patent portfolio against SUSE Linux. More here. You can follow the live webcast announcement, by Steve Ballmer, here. Update: Novell has put up a detailed FAQ about this deal.
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RE[3]: is
by h times nue equals e on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 15:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: is"
h times nue equals e
Member since:
2006-01-21

This clause certainly raises questions whether GPL v2 is actually legal. If a GPL code is distributed and breaks a patent than it has to either be replaced with code that breaks the patent, or then it is up to the patent holder rather than the GPL distributor (and license) who and how they license the patent to.
Beside the nitpick, that you probably lost a "not" somewhere between "that" and "breaks", I don't think, that this language is per se illegal. (IANAL, though).

The GPL assumes, that you (as the author of the code / derivative work) are in the legal position to distribute said code in the first place. If you violate patents (and life in countries / jurisdrictions, that allow the patent holders to pursue you), then this assumption clearly does no longer apply. You would have to license the technology regardless of the license you plan to use for distribution. The GPL imposes only additional restrictions. Furthermore, it is more difficult (sometimes even impossible) to code around patent issues than to mitigate existing copyright issues (e.g. implement the same idea with a complete different implementation)

If I understand the intend of this clause correctly, the key point is to prevent people from watering down the (copyright based) freedoms granted by the GPL by patent related means (e.g. the code itself is covered by the GPL, but you are only allowed to use / modify / distribute it, if you ADDITIONALLY license the idea behind the code via patent xyz from me )

Regards

Reply Parent Score: 1