[wp-hackers] WordPress and GPLv3

Roy Schestowitz r at schestowitz.com
Sat Dec 29 16:57:04 GMT 2007

Hash: SHA1

> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> There are several hypothetical scenarios which come to mind:
>>     1. Patent intimidation and settlements can be used to divide
>>     and separate 'licensed' WP from 'unlicensed' WP.
> This is the second message you've mentioned patent issues, and I haven't
> seen a response to my initial query.  You seem to be indicating that
> GPL3 will somehow help with patent issues.  Unless you mean protecting
> us (devs/users) from someone like Automattic patenting things, if you
> are talking about a third-party coming after WP and big WP users/devs
> for potential infringement of CMS patents, how the code is licensed
> won't make a difference.  So... if you could explain in more detail what
> you're thinking/assuming GPL3 helps with patent issues, I'd be
> interested to hear it.. ;)

Imagine a scenario where a company forks WordPress and then signs a
patent deal (licensing) with a patent troll. Suppose that company acts
selfishly and then uses such pseudo-protection to pull people away from
WP. From the GPLv3 preamble:

"Finally, every program is threatened constantly by software patents. We
wish to avoid the special  danger that redistributors of a free program
will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program
proprietary. To prevent this, the GPL makes it clear that any patent
must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all."

There are more scenarios to be considered, such as licensing with
clients/users rather than vendor/distributor.

I apologise if I didn't reply to your initial query. I must have missed it.

- --
		~~ Best of wishes

Roy S. Schestowitz
http://Schestowitz.com  |  GNU/Linux  |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
Freelance journalist @ http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/
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