Re: Here are some of my ideas for Fedora 8 and Fedora 9

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Ed Greshko wrote:
Les Mikesell wrote:

I think there would be an interesting legal argument that nearly all
potential users have already paid the relevant patent royalties
indirectly in the form of drivers and other software provided by the
hardware vendors of the devices in question (and included in the cost),
or in the copy of Windows they were essentially forced to buy with the
computer.  Since they have paid to use the covered algorithms and since
patents cover the process not specific instances, they should be
permitted to use a version of it that actually works.  Of course I don't
want to spend my own money to test this argument...

Could you say that again in English?

If you buy a DVD device for your PC, for example, it will generally come with packaged software to operate it included in the cost. Presumably part of this cost covers any patent license fees required for you to legally use the covered processes on that device. The copy as supplied isn't usable though, since it requires an operating system you are unwilling to run (you might claim you are avoiding compliance in an illegal monopoly as your reason here...). Since patents don't cover specific copies or versions, but the broad algorithm or process involved, having paid once for the right to use that process should permit you to run that process even though it is a different version of it. Likewise for everything patented that is included in that copy of Windows that you paid for even if it was hidden in the price of your PC. This doesn't cover everyone since is theoretically possible to obtain hardware without software, but I've got a large box of CD's full of stuff that came bundled with my last few PCs and I'd bet that's true for most people. The software license included with these things may disclaim any such rights, but you aren't using that software and thus aren't bound by its license terms, and you did pay for the right to use the processes.

  Les Mikesell

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