On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 07:38:07AM -0300, Sergio Demian Lerner via bitcoin-dev 
> I read the DPL v1.1 and I find it dangerous for Bitcoin users. Current
> users may be confident they are protected but in fact they are not, as the
> future generations of users can be attacked, making Bitcoin technology
> fully proprietary and less valuable.

Glad to hear you're taking a conservative approach.

So I assume Rootstock is going to do something stronger then, like
Blockstream's DPL + binding patent pledge to only use patents defensively?


Because if not, the DPL is still better than the status quo.

> If you read the DPL v1.1 you will see that companies that join DPL can
> enforce their patents against anyone who has chosen not to join the DPL.
> (http://defensivepatentlicense.org/content/defensive-patent-license)
> So basically most users of Bitcoin could be currently under threat of being
> sued by Bitcoin companies and individuals that joined DPL in the same way
> they might be under threat by the remaining companies. And even if they
> joined DPL, they may be asked to pay royalties for the use of the
> inventions prior joining DPL.
> DPL changes nothing for most individuals that cannot and will not hire
> patent attorneys to advise them on what the DPL benefits are and what
> rights they are resigning. Remember that patten attorneys fees may be
> prohibitive for individuals in under-developed countries.
> Also DPL is revocable by the signers (with only a 180-day notice), so if
> Bitcoin Core ends up using ANY DPL covered patent, the company owning the
> patent can later force all new Bitcoin users to pay royalties.

Indeed. However, you're also free to adopt the DPL irrevocably by additionally
stating that you will never invoke that 180-day notice provision (or more
humorously, make it a 100 year notice period to ensure any patents expire!).

If you're concerned about this problem, I'd suggest that Rootstock do exactly

> Because Bitcoin user base grows all the time with new individuals, the sole
> existence of DPL licensed patents in Bitcoin represents a danger to Bitcoin
> future almost the same as the existence of non-DPL license patents.

To be clear, modulo the revocability provision, it's a danger mainly to those
who are unwilling to adopt the DPL themselves, perhaps because they support
software patents.

> If you're publishing all your ideas and code (public disclosure), you
> cannot later go and file a patent in most of the world except the US, where
> you have a 1 year grace period. So we need to do something specific to
> prevent the publishers filing a US patent.

Again, lets remember that you personally proposed a BIP[1] that had the effect
of aiding your ASICBOOST patent[2] without disclosing that fact in your BIP nor
your pull-req[3]. The simple fact is we can't rely solely on voluntary
disclosure - your own behavior is a perfect example of why not.

[1]: BIP: https://github.com/BlockheaderNonce2/bitcoin/wiki
[2]: ASICBOOST PATENT https://www.google.com/patents/WO2015077378A1?cl=en
[3]: Extra nonce pull request: https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/5102

> What we need much more than DPL, we need that every BIP and proposal to the
> Bitcoin mailing list contains a note that grants all Bitcoin users a
> worldwide, royalty-free, no-charge, non-exclusive, irrevocable license for
> the content of the e-mail or BIP.

A serious problem here is the definition of "Bitcoin users". Does Bitcoin
Classic count? Bitcoin Unlimited? What if Bitcoin forks?

Better to grant _everyone_ a irrevocable license.

Along those lines, it'd be reasonable to consider changing the Bitcoin Core
license to something like an Apache2/LGPL3 dual license to ensure the copyright
license also has anti-patent protections.

https://petertodd.org 'peter'[:-1]@petertodd.org

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