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

> ----------------------------
> Message: 12
> Date: Sat, 07 Jul 2007 13:32:33 -0500
> From: Les Mikesell <lesmikesell gmail com>

> I don't think this point is clear at all.  This is software, remember, 
> just a collection of bits and I'm introducing the modifications myself. 
> Suppose I rearrange a few of the bits in program A as my own 
> modification, but keeping all the 1's and 0's that used to be there. 
> Suppose I keep rearranging them until they look just like program B 
> which might be something I developed myself or it might be very close or 
> identical to something someone else has done and published.  At what 
> point do I stop having the right to use the process permitted by those 
> original bits that I still own. 

As I understand things, you still have the right to use the original
bits. Specifically you have the rights given to you in the license.
Whether you are able to make modifications depends on whether your
license gives you the right.

You never have the right to "use the process" in the sense that you can
create your own software that implements the process and then distribute
it to others.  For that, you don't go to the software vendor, but to the
holder of the patent.  Fedora doesn't link to sites that provide
encumbered software because that might been taken as distributing
illegal software, besides being philosophically opposed to the ideals of
the project.

You might be able to do these things if your license allows, if for
example, you get a license to exploit the patent along with the license
to use the software. Maybe the patent holder will license the patent
freely at no cost.  But if that were common practice, we'd not be having
this discussion, would we?

>  Now it becomes a question of whether I 
> have the right to use the parts of that paid-for Ford ABS if I bolt them 
> onto a Chrysler myself.

My understanding is that this right is under attack for things such as
encryption devices and algorithms; trusted-computing modules, and such.
That is you can't reverse-engineer these things anymore, in the name of
protecting DRM schemes.


> -- 
>    Les Mikesell
>      lesmikesell gmail com

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