[XviD-devel] [OT] GPL License, Software patents

Marco Al xvid-devel@xvid.org
Thu, 14 Nov 2002 16:34:44 +0100

Christoph Lampert wrote:

> In short it explains what GPL says: You cannot use patented algorithms
> in GPL software, unless the patent is "free to use" for all users of this
> software.

More importantly it asserts distributors of open source software might be liable
for infringement by recipients if they do so with full knowledge of the patents
(they are granting rights to the recipients under the GPL, so they take up
liability if those rights are not theirs to grant).

The "use only for research" type clauses are unlikely to help in this respect,
they are not legal under the GPL in the first place. The people who use them are
aware of that, and neither them nor the recipients of the software take them
seriously ... believing the judge will is naive.