[IPOL discuss] Patents and IPOL code

Nicolas Limare nicolas.limare at cmla.ens-cachan.fr
Tue Apr 5 10:43:15 CEST 2011


> My understanding is that GPLv3 is only valid if the patent owner
> allows it with a license saying that he would not claim his rights
> in court concerning this code. This is the main difference with
> GPLv2, which was somewhat unclear on this matter.

So, if we distribute some patented code with GPLv3 and no patent
agreement from the patent owner, then the GPLv3 "self-destructs" and
the code is distributed without a license, ie no use, modification or
distribution allowed. The GPLv3 license should be avoided for any code
containing a patented algorithm. If GPLv2 is unclear, it should also
be avoided.

So, implementations of patented algorithms should use the BSD
license[1]. But if you split these patented algos and the rest of
your work in independant source code files, you can still use the
license you want for the rest of your work, as long as it is
compatible with a BSD license.


[1] I think we have enough choice with the BSD and GPL family of
licenses, using other licenses would make it even more complex.

Nicolas LIMARE - CMLA - ENS Cachan    http://www.cmla.ens-cachan.fr/~limare/
IPOL - image processing on line                          http://www.ipol.im/
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