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I decided to post a little introduction to myself here: Ask me who I was last March, and I would have had WinBloze 7 Beta on my main computer and would have been part of Micro$uck's test project for WinBloze 7 and would have been excited about it. However, that changed as soon as my network adapter changed and the new one worked with Linux. As soon as I tested the new adapter with Mint (I'd say about a year ago, in July 2009) I began to really value Linux for what it is.

However, I knew about Linux long before that. I started with gOS 2, which was my first distro. I had tried it back in about February 2008. I first learned about Linux back in mid-2007, from an article in PCMag that spanned several pages. I had quite a hard time back then, and Ubuntu Hardy was no different than gOS.

So then what took me so long from knowing about Linux to finally becoming an active user? My house was nothing but Wi-Fi. My mother set a secure wireless network up back then, and I couldn't connect to it because my adapter (Linksys WUSB54GSC) wasn't recognized by Linux. I had the patience to continue.

Then, in June 2008, my family got hit by the economic collapse here in the USA: The mortgage on my old house doubled and my family had to leave because of the rate increase. So, we were stuck in a hotel room until my family and I could end up in a new house. That Christmas, I wanted a netbook, and got my wish (the one I'm typing on, an Acer Aspire One AOA110-1545). It came with Linux preinstalled, and I liked it all around.

From then to June 2009, I still had WinBloze on my desktop, as Linux still didn't work with my wireless network adapter. Then, in June 2009 as I said, I got a new wireless network adapter, and in July decided to test it with Linux Mint 7. It worked, even from the Live CD! Now,

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The ideal FOSS (and copyleft) license: That which is based on patent law

Posted 08-16-2010 at 09:07 AM by Kenny_Strawn
Updated 11-24-2010 at 05:15 AM by Kenny_Strawn

I know the GPL is really a very good license that acts as a shield over FOSS, protecting it from exploitation by corporations that want to lock in the changes to code.

But it's not good enough: Companies like MiKKKroSSoft still like to rip off FOSS with similar programs that have the same functionality but are proprietary and locked down. And then they use software patents to lock their own original software to themselves.

That's where this license comes in: I was thinking of creating a license that actually uses patent law to protect FOSS from being ripped off. That being: Use patent law for the same purpose that the GPL uses copyright law. That way, no corporation can copy or clone any exclusive features to the FOSS under it without opening up the code under the same license terms. I call this "patent-left" the same way RMS calls it "copyleft".

What do you guys think of such a license?
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Anyone?
    Posted 08-16-2010 at 04:54 PM by Kenny_Strawn Kenny_Strawn is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kenny_Strawn View Comment
    Anyone?
    No, GPL does not protect "from exploitation by corporations that want to lock in the changes to code".

    Read http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html ->
    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#UnreleasedMods ->
    http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq....alDistribution .
    Posted 08-16-2010 at 07:09 PM by Sergei Steshenko Sergei Steshenko is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sergei Steshenko View Comment
    No, GPL does not protect "from exploitation by corporations that want to lock in the changes to code".
    If you try to modify GPL software with proprietary code, you will be sued for GPL violation.

    But a license that relies on patent law instead of copyright law will also restrict against clones and proprietary competition, not just modifications to source code. If you even try to compete with software licensed under the license I'm thinking of, you will have to open up the code.
    Posted 08-17-2010 at 11:28 AM by Kenny_Strawn Kenny_Strawn is offline
  4. Old Comment
    I don't know why, but this somehow sounds evil to me.
    Posted 08-20-2010 at 06:11 AM by MTK358 MTK358 is offline
  5. Old Comment
    I also am thinking of a clause that prevents corporations from asserting copyright to themselves (i.e. like what Red Hat or Novell do) to give themselves an unfair advantage. I will ensure that the copyright/patent on the software is always of the general public and that if corporations infringe on the general public's ownership rights they automatically violate the license.
    Posted 08-20-2010 at 09:43 PM by Kenny_Strawn Kenny_Strawn is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MTK358 View Comment
    I don't know why, but this somehow sounds evil to me.
    How? It protects the people's (and by 'the people' I mean the general public) freedom against being ripped off! Ultimately, this will prevent even the most remote of exploitation of freedom.
    Posted 08-20-2010 at 09:47 PM by Kenny_Strawn Kenny_Strawn is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Quote:
    But it's not good enough: Companies like MicroSSoft still like to rip off FOSS with similar programs that have the same functionality but are proprietary and locked down. And then they use software patents to lock their own original software to themselves.
    I think you're missing the concept of prior art. If the FOSS existed first, companies can't patent it later (at least in theory). And if the PTO pulls its usual incompetence act, then the FOSS program can be used to invalidate the patent.
    Posted 10-03-2010 at 11:32 AM by Hangdog42 Hangdog42 is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Yes, but this license will actually use software patent law to ensure that the proprietary program that copies the FOSS MUST open up its code, no exceptions. Using any kind of license other than this one (which I would also like to make GPL-compatible) for proprietary competition would be a clear and present violation of this license.

    And if I end up being the one creating this license and someone innovates with this license on completely new FOSS, I would literally go on a legal (as in lawsuit) killing spree against proprietary software that even tries to copy the new features, forcing the company(ies) that created the proprietary software to open up the entire source code under this license
    Posted 10-03-2010 at 06:44 PM by Kenny_Strawn Kenny_Strawn is offline
 

  



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