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Re: [tlug] GPL vs. paid version and ethics

On Sun, 05 Aug 2012 18:39:32 +0900
"Stephen J. Turnbull" <> wrote:

>  > In that particular case I was curious about "Multi-core query
>  > execution". I wondered what would happen if I were to add that feature
>  > (*) to the GPL version.
>  > 
>  > Legally I can do it.
> *That* is a risky bet unless you can afford a patent search.

I always wonder what the legal risk of writing patent encumbered stuff is,
if it's done in a country that does not have software patents.

To put it into perspective: a couple of years ago, when revising the
european patent law, it was a long and heated discussion, whether
software patents should be allowed or not. In the end, they were 
explicitly excluded (again). Now i could write software that i know
touches a couple of US patents here in europe and realease the code
as open source (e.g. GPL v2).

Two questions arise here:
1) Can i held be liable for violating patents in a country that i have
no relationship at all?
2) If i release the software as open source and do not sell/give it
away in a comercial context, can i be held liable for patent violation
at all (patents in europe are AFAIK a purely comercial construct that
explicitly excludes non-comercial use)

			Attila Kinali

Why does it take years to find the answers to
the questions one should have asked long ago?

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