[zeromq-dev] LGPLv3 patent clause

Sojan James sojan.james at gmail.com
Sun Feb 2 10:38:29 CET 2014


Thank you for your inputs Laurent and Peter. I'd rather not get into a
deeper discussion about GPLV3 without really understanding more.  :-).

I have a simple question. (The answer might not be that simple with GPLv3,
but let me try anyway)

Suppose I build a product based on a patent able idea. Suppose this product
is built with an LGPLv3 library (zero-mq).  Will I lose my rights on the
patent?

Warm regards,
Sojan






On Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 2:35 PM, Charles Remes <lists at chuckremes.com> wrote:

> It took me a long time, but I have come around to share Pieter's view.
>
> cr
>
> On Jan 31, 2014, at 5:19 AM, Pieter Hintjens <ph at imatix.com> wrote:
>
> > This is off-topic for ZeroMQ, but if you want my detailed
> > deconstruction of the patent system, and why I've spent years of my
> > life fighting it, see here: http://hintjens.com/blog:31.
> >
> > My views are on the public record. For two years I was president of
> > the FFII, the leading European NGO defining software patent policy in
> > Europe. We contributed to the relevant clauses in the GPLv3. I chose
> > that for ZeroMQ with the very specific intention of excluding any
> > contributor that used patents in their software business strategy.
> >
> > In short, the patent system does not help small inventors except in
> > freak cases. The _entire_ patent system is, in my view, a legal
> > parasite designed by professional sociopaths to feed off real economic
> > activity, leaving nothing but ruin behind. Every claim for patents is
> > based on the lure of easy money, wrong assumptions, bogus economic
> > theory, mistaken theories of innovation, naivety about legal process,
> > or outright lies.
> >
> > On Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 9:29 AM, Laurent Alebarde <l.alebarde at free.fr>
> wrote:
> >> IMHO, everything can be hell or haven, including LGPL. It depends on
> one's
> >> motivations and intentions. For patents, lawyers are the tools of the
> >> owners, so what happens depends on the owners (except the patent
> officers,
> >> but they infringe only the owners). I agree also many patents are
> abusive
> >> and shaming.
> >>
> >> That's why I am also against patents on software. But it is not that
> simple.
> >> Software is just a tool. Many technologies need software to come to
> life but
> >> are not intrinsically software. Then patents may be IMHO legitimate.
> When
> >> you spend thousands of hours to develop an innovative technology, you
> can
> >> expect earning some money with it, at least to feed your children,
> isn't it
> >> ?
> >>
> >> Open source and associated consulting and expertise is a great
> economical
> >> model, but not the only one. Moreover, it fits some people, and not
> others.
> >> Other people are creative and technology centric. For them, the patent
> may
> >> be the less bad idea, even if many times it is finaly a real bad idea
> >> because filing a patent requires that you have funds to defend it. But
> it
> >> may also be a good idea, especially if your invention needs to be
> opened, or
> >> once again, the less bad idea. Many corporates are unfair, isn't it ?
> The
> >> guy who invented car wipers had to fight all his life to obtain the
> first
> >> dollar from his invention.
> >>
> >> When it comes to technical innovation, when you want to keep your
> freedom in
> >> a small business, when you want to spend your time in creation more
> than in
> >> service, what do you propose ?
> >>
> >> Of course, you cannot answer: consulting is great, make your technology
> >> free, raise a community, do expertise and be happy. That would be just
> what
> >> fits to some people, but not others. Besides, if the technology is
> simple to
> >> use, nobody will need your expertise.
> >>
> >> One may also hire a few people to do the consulting, and stay on the
> >> creation, but then you have to spend most of your time in management,
> what
> >> is creativity counter  productive. You can also hire a CE, but then you
> may
> >> have other kind of troubles.
> >>
> >> You may also just stay an employee in a corporate with a cool R&D.
> >>
> >> There is no legitimate reason to prevent anyone to get freedom and to
> be,
> >> behave and work as he is, as far as the freedom and dignity of everyone
> else
> >> is respected and preserved.
> >>
> >> My 2 cts.
> >>
> >> Laurent Alebarde
> >>
> >>
> >> Le 30/01/2014 14:00, Pieter Hintjens a écrit :
> >>
> >> On Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 4:29 AM, Sojan James <sojan.james at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> I think zeromq is a great library to use for my project.  At my
> company, all
> >> open source usage needs to be approved for use by a legal team.  Usage
> of
> >> GLPv3 and LGPLv3 is flatly refused. One of the reasons is the clause
> about
> >> the patents.  I don't fully understand the implications of the patent
> clause
> >> of LGPLv3 w.r.t zeromq.  Does the static linking exception affect my
> >> obligations in any way?
> >>
> >> I'm basically looking for any information that I can provide to the
> legal
> >> team to discuss further if an exception can be granted for this library.
> >>
> >> The patent clause in the LGPLv3 applies to anyone using ZeroMQ, no
> >> matter how they link it. This is deliberate. The goal is to reduce
> >> patent lawsuits around ZeroMQ. You can read the full implications
> >> elsewhere; it's standard part of GPLv3. Any firm that flatly refuses
> >> (L)GPLv3 for these reasons is welcome to go buy commercial software,
> >> or use other products.
> >>
> >> Speaking personally, (software) patents are an infectious abomination
> >> that allow pseudo-lawyers to parasite the work of productive people.
> >> Firms do make the choice: either they embrace that abomination or they
> >> reject it. If they embrace it, they are dangerous partners and
> >> unreliable contributors. The LGPLv3 patent clause makes a good filter
> >> to ensure such firms do not join our community. /End of personal
> >> statement
> >>
> >> -Pieter
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >>
> >>
> >>
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