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06.07.07

The Patent Reform May Have Begun, GPL Explained

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, Novell, Patents at 7:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There are several news items that stand out today. The first one speaks about changes which are made to the patent application process. Sadly, this does not seem to address existing patents, many of which can be eliminated based on the “trivial” criterion, or even prior art.

The one-year community review project will give outside experts in computer technology the opportunity to submit technical references relevant to the claims of a published patent application before an examiner reviews it, according to the PTO.

Two more noteworthy items speak about the GPL, its purpose, and its effect on Novell. The GNU and FSF News for June 2007 explains why the Microsoft-Novell plan may backfire.

For this to happen a Microsoft distributed Novell SLES coupon has to be used after at least one program licensed with the GPLv3 is included in the Novell SLES distro. So far Novell says they will include GPLv3 software in SLES. Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to realize their mistake.

TuxDeluxe publishes an item on the importance of the values which the GPL embodies, and why they should be preserved in order for Utopian Free software to survive.

The central thesis of the GPL is that you can do anything you like with the software, except claim ownership, or authorship, of its contents. And that’s about it.

A lot of people attempt to sling mud at the licence. This comes from different directions and sometimes from lobbyists, too. Be careful and check whose voice you listen to.

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