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From "Andrew C. Oliver" <acoli...@buni.org>
Subject Re: Rejection of any ENCUMBERED Microsoft Donation to POI
Date Thu, 17 Apr 2008 12:17:58 GMT
Ryan Ackley wrote:
> Andy,
> 
> From my point-of-view you are pretty much asking for nothing less than
> Microsoft to go beyond the OSP for POI. Correct?
>   

Actually not exactly (a patent grant for POI and its derivatives) or to 
fix the OSP to clarify conformance especially "best effort" conformance 
(read: bugs) is acceptable.

> From a practical standpoint you're asking for Microsoft to re-write
> the OSP to your satisfaction. Because If they do it for Apache it
> would pretty much apply to everyone because anyone could just say
> they're software was derived from POI, therefore it was covered by the
> new OSP just for POI.
> 

The OSP probably offers no coverage.  Even sam said something along the 
lines that it is at best helpful and probably "harmless".  I'm asking 
for a patent grant that allows us to distribute under the terms of the 
OSD.  (I was earlier confused to believe that the CLA-C offered this 
coverage, Nick tells me that I'm wrong and while I don't profess to 
fully get it, I read his explanation and trust him on that issue)

> I respect your position. POI is your baby and caution is most
> definitely warranted when dealing with Microsoft.
> 

POI is not my baby alone, POI is the users and the people that supported 
it (developers too).  It is them that I'm attempting to look out for.

> Some facts to consider: I've never heard of a case of Microsoft using
> their patents offensively. Also, there seems to be a general consensus

I guess you need to read the news a little more often :-).  In addition 
to the most famous issue, Microsoft has used the patent system to harm 
open source through third parties in the past.  Thus far they have 
primarily aimed at Linux.

> in the community that the OSP is "good enough" protection. There are

That is not true either and you missed the doc that Nick posted that 
explains the problem from a legalistic point of view around "conforms".

> several other open source projects that don't seem to be worried about
> it, including OpenOffice.  Finally, anytime a single line of code is
> committed to an open source project, there is a risk of it infringing
> some frivolous patent somewhere. It's a sad reality of our IP laws.
> 

A special issue is that Microsoft is contributing through a third party. 
  Which I have NO PROBLEM WITH AT ALL so long as they 
properly/legally/etc contribute all of the IP that they contribute to 
the implementation of.  There is no reason, in my mind, for them not to 
give POI a grant for all of the IP they fund the implementation of.

-Andy

> -Ryan
> 
> 
> On 4/16/08, Nick Burch <nick@torchbox.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, 16 Apr 2008, Andrew C. Oliver wrote:
>>> I totally don't get the CLA-C argument.
>>>
>> It's a bit subtle, and it took me a little while to understand :)
>>
>>
>> Let us imagine that Acme Corp holds three patents, patent A, patent B and
>> patent C. Acme Corp has a ccla on file, as does its sole employee, Jim, who
>> also has an icla on file.
>>
>> Jim starts contributing to Apache Foo on company time. He writes some code
>> in an area covered by patent A. All users of Apache Foo now have a grant
>> covering patent A. However, they don't have any rights on patents B or C.
>>
>> Now, you are also an Apache Foo contributor. You write commit some code,
>> which is in an area covered by patent B. However, as no Acme Corp employees
>> have worked on that bit of code, there is no grant covering patent B, so we
>> potentially have a problem. We still have a grant on patent A, but nothing
>> for patent C.
>>
>> Jim now submits some patches to your contributions. Now, we do have work
>> from Acme Corp in the area covered by patent B. So, there's now a grant
>> covering patents A and B. However, there's still no grant on patent C.
>>
>>
>> Does that make sense? If we got a ccla from Microsoft tomorrow, it wouldn't
>> make any difference to POI, as Microsoft don't own the copyright on any
>> contributions to POI, so there will be no patent grants.  In order to get
>> patent grants under the ccla, we'd need Microsoft to both file a ccla, and
>> have their employees work on POI. This is why many of us feel that the
>> Microsoft ccla issue is a red herring.
>>
>> Do shout if that's still not clear enough, and I'll have another try at
>> explaining it all!
>>
>> Nick
>>
>>
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> 
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