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Jan 13, 2005



From what I can tell this isn't actually a giveaway. IBM keeps the patent but licenses you to use it for open source purposes only. Call me a cynic, but this sounds like IBM are trying to build a technical community around themselves, not an idea, ultimately for their own commercial gain.

A false gesture.


This is fundamentally how open source licensing works today... in order for some entity to be able to execute the legal concept of license, they have to actually hold ownership to it. All of the software licensed by the GPL is legally owned by the FSF.

I don't find fault with IBM for not transfering these patents. If they are creating another form of open source license (there are 52 of them already, if I am correct) then that's still accomplishing the same objective.

And what's wrong with limiting the use to open source projects? I don't think you would get too much support for allowing ISV's to use IBM's patents for commercial products with no royalty to IBM, much like you wouldn't get any support for allowing GPL code to be used for commercial products that are licensed.

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