[SciPy-user] Enthon for the Mac

Robert Kern rkern at ucsd.edu
Tue Nov 23 22:16:58 CST 2004


John Hunter wrote:
>>>>>>"Fernando" == Fernando Perez <Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu> writes:
> 
> 
>     Fernando> That's probably a wise choice, actually.  Forcing users
>     Fernando> of the patented stuff to jump through an extra hoop will
>     Fernando> help prevent accidental misuse of those algorithms.
> 
> I'm more interested in giving a potential user of my software a
> convenient install than I am in saving a potential developer from
> inadvertently writing some commercial software that requires a
> license.  My guess is that 99% of the people who will use enthon/OSX
> satisfy the constraint of not using the patented classes in a
> commercial app, so my preference would be to include it with a
> disclaimer.  

The patent license isn't just needed for implementing marching cubes in 
a program that you sell. It's also needed for applying the algorithm for 
commercial purposes. If I use VTK(+Patented) to make pretty pictures in 
the course of my job, I need to pay for a patent license. Research in an 
academic or governmental context may or may not be considered 
commercial. In the absence of a clear license for non-commercial and 
research use, I'm not tempted to guess their intentions.

My guess is that most people who will be using MacEnthon do not in fact 
qualify as non-commercial users but think they do. Not packaging the 
patented algorithms removes an attractive nuisance and assuages my 
conscience.

http://www.vtk.org/Wiki/ITK_Patent_Bazaar

> If someone ignores a suitably positioned disclaimer at the download
> site *and* inadvertently develops an app that requires a license *and*
> wants to distribute it commercially -- we're talking about a
> vanishingly small subset here -- then they do so at their own peril.
> 
> Of course I don't second guess Robert's decision since he is the one
> doing the hard work, but this is how I see it.

-- 
Robert Kern
rkern at ucsd.edu

"In the fields of hell where the grass grows high
  Are the graves of dreams allowed to die."
   -- Richard Harter



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