Official position of RedHat regarding software patents

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at
Wed May 29 15:48:58 UTC 2002

There are two important things to note here:

On Wed, May 29, 2002 at 04:00:38PM +0200, Alexandre Dulaunoy wrote:

> Approved License means any of the following licenses: GNU General Public
> License v2.0; IBM Public License v1.0; Common Public License v0.5; Q
> Public License v1.0; and any Red Hat open source license. Red Hat may add
> to this list in its sole discretion by publication on this page.
> Open Source/Free Software means any software which is licensed under an
> Approved License.

This is not an accepted definition.
They especially exclude the very important Free Software licenses
with less freedom protection like GNU LGPL and XFree86 license.

The reason is obvious: It would completely invalid the use of the patent.

> Subject to any qualifications or limitations stated herein, to the extent
> any party exercises a Patent Right with respect to Open Source/Free
> Software which reads on any claim of any patent held by Red Hat, Red Hat
> agrees to refrain from enforcing the infringed patent against such party
> for such exercise ("Our Promise"). Our Promise does not extend to any
> software which is not Open Source/Free Software, 

This is quite missleading as they do not promise to respect 
all of Free Software (or Open Source conforming licenses for this matter). 

Note 2:  In my eyes Software on which a patent exists does indeed
take away the second freedom to study how the program works.
What is studying worth if you cannot use your learned knowledge 
(ideas not the code) to implement something similiar and use it to earn money.
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