[wp-hackers] WordPress and GPLv3

David Chait davebytes at comcast.net
Fri Dec 28 16:26:46 GMT 2007

Roy Schestowitz wrote:
> Nothing is wrong with the GPLv2.
> While much of the coversation has drifted towards Tivoization, which is
> the more controversial part of the licence, I worry more about other
> aspects, such as software patents. There are companies with very broad
> patent portfolios and even prior art would cost a fortune to get hold of
> and show in a court a law. To give you an example, a company called
> Blackboard 'owns' the genius that is having different roles in a CMS,
> which facilitates different access privileges. As patent trolling
> constantly reaches an all-time high (the popularity of WordPress
> likewise), it is worth thinking ahead. 
I may be missing something here.  Are you saying converting WP to GPL3 
will somehow protect WP from patent trolling?  That's all I can infer 
from the above, and if so, that's (patently) not true.  ;)

If you develop software, free or otherwise, and someone has a patent on 
process/tech, they can still come after you.   How you license your code 
doesn't 'protect' you from infringing on others.  Now, if some other 
company releases software that is GPL3, and contains patented or 
patentable processes/tech, I would assume from the back and forth on the 
topic that GPL3 basically 'gives away' the patent rights to any user of 
the code.

All this with the caveat: I haven't read the GPL3 as yet, don't plan to 
any time soon. ;) ;)


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