[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 
following terms:
* 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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