[Accessibility] Position on Standards and Patents
Olaf Jan Schmidt
ojschmidt at kde.org
Wed Aug 17 10:09:00 PDT 2005
I am sorry that I did not find the time to write down my ideas for a position
on software patents in the context of the standards we design.
Here are a couple of pieces for such a statement. If other people add to it,
then we can discuss it next week in detail. The language is partly based on
the suggested new license criteria currently under discussion in the LSB.
That discussion is still open, and I will follow it to see whether any points
come up that would be also relevant for the software patent case.
"Software patents have a negative impact on accessibility if they restrict the
implementation of standards, or if they restrict the implementation of
software to read or write formats for data storage or data exchange. This is
especially true if the patent is licensed under terms that discriminate
against particular vendors, users or implementors, or against open source
The standard issued by this working group must therefore either be free of
software patents, or there must be a suitable license. All parties
participating in this working group declare that they do not own and do not
know of applicable patents, unless the patents are licensed under the
* The patent is licensed for use in software shipped under any OSI approved
* The patent is also available under reasonable and non-discriminative terms
that place no restrictions on the developers rights to deploy (or not) their
own source code or the compiled software.
* The patent license offer must be unrevokable except for cases where the
licensor is sued for patent infringement by the licensee."
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