[Board] incubation and risk

Even Rouault even.rouault at spatialys.com
Thu Oct 2 13:04:01 PDT 2014

Le jeudi 02 octobre 2014 21:48:13, Markus Neteler a écrit :
> On Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 7:23 PM, Jody Garnett <jody.garnett at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Markus that sounds like a license compatibility check, not specifically
> > checking for patents as Jachym was asking about?
> I think both as far as we are aware of it.

Patent is a difficult subject. There are so many patents, most of them dummy, 
that if you are somewhat bankable and live in a country with a crazy patenting 
system, a patent troll will eventually come to blackmail you...

Now, I'm not sure OSGeo software should ban implementations of patents. For 
example JPEG2000 is covered by patents (although "the JPEG committee that its 
standards should be implementable in their baseline form without payment of 
royalty and license fees" : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG_2000), but why 
should we prevent free software implementations of it ? We can warn users of 
potential patents related to our code, when we are aware of them, but I don't 
think we should ban them

> A classical example is the LZW compression which was also used in
> older GRASS but before it became patented along with a special permit
> to use in GRASS (hence not compliant with a future GPL). I don't
> recall the details now.

LZW patent has actually expired in 2004. But that's a proof that GRASS will 
bury all of us ;-)

> So, our code vetting also included some issues like this. Patents are
> IMHO complicated, filed where, still valid, etc. Not my core business
> :-)
> Markus
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