Official position of RedHat regarding software patents

Jan Wildeboer jan.wildeboer at
Wed May 29 16:12:55 UTC 2002

Bernhard Reiter wrote:

> 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.

That sounds more like not being allowed to "help your neighbour". I can 
study the source, I can modfiy it, I can publish my changes but I am 
bound to a defined set of licenses.

   Red Hat may add to this list in its sole discretion by
   publication on this page.

At least indicates that they will not subtract from this list. But I am 
eagre to see their reaction and the possible longstanding discussion 
when GPL 3 comes out.

When you have licensed your application for example with

     This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
     it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
     the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
     (at your option) any later version.

And the GPL 3 is not (yet) included in the RedHat allow-list what will 
be happening? Will you have to change your licensing to GPL 2 only? Will 
your right to use their patents be terminated?

Jan Wildeboer

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