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

Agreed. Also worth noting that it has a potential advantage over unilateral
patent disarmament, analogous to the advantage of copyleft licenses over
MIT/BSD: it provides an incentive (at least a theoretical one) for other
companies to adopt it too.

As many people have proposed, the best option, though one that would
require a lot of work, might be a dedicated Bitcoin-related defensive
patent pool—similar to Linux's Open Invention Network—that could
strategically deploy patent licenses to incentivize cooperation and punish

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.

I think Apache 2.0 would be a great license for Bitcoin Core. It not only
contains an explicit patent license grant (rather than MIT's implicit one),
but terminates that license if the licensee asserts a claim alleging that
the covered work infringes a patent. That might be an effective deterrent
against bringing patent claims based on alleged infringement in Bitcoin
Core. (I'm not sure I see a good reason to dual-license under the LGPL3,
but am curious to hear more.)

It would probably be feasible to upgrade to the Apache license for new
releases and contributions (leaving already-existing code and previous
releases under the MIT license—so basically a copyright "soft-fork"). Has
this been discussed before? Are there any obstacles or objections?

(These are my personal opinions, do not necessarily reflect the views of
any company, and are definitely not legal advice.)

On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 3:58 AM Peter Todd via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev@lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> On Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 07:38:07AM -0300, Sergio Demian Lerner via
> bitcoin-dev wrote:
> > 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?
>     https://www.blockstream.com/about/patent_pledge/
> 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
> that.
> > 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/bit
> coin/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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