[SciPy-user] Enthon for the Mac

Robert Kern rkern at ucsd.edu
Tue Nov 23 23:28:36 CST 2004


Fernando Perez wrote:
> John Hunter wrote:
> 
>>   VTK has a generous open-source copyright modelled after the BSD
>>   license. Yes, you can use VTK in commercial products. The only
>>   caveat is that if you use any classes (there are a small number) in
>>   the VTK/Patented directory in commercial application, you will want
>>   to contact the patent holder (listed in the class header) for a
>>   license. The complete text of the copyright follows.
>>
>> To me the key phrase is using classes "in commercial application".  I
>> read (past tense) "application" to mean a computer program that you
>> sell to people, eg, MS Word.  I (now) see there is an alternative
>> meaning of "commercial application", the generic one, "the ability to
>> use learned material in new and concrete situations".
>>
>> Do you agree that the reading of this license hinges on how you
>> interpret the phrase "commercial application"?  If you read it in the
>> sense of a program you want to sell, an "application" in geek
>> parlance, it is fairly permissive in a commercial environment.  If you
>> read it in the non-geek sense of using learned material in a new and
>> concrete situation, it is fairly restrictive.
> 
> 
> I'd really like to encourage all those interested in this discussion to 
> go to the link Robert posted:
> 
> http://www.vtk.org/Wiki/ITK_Patent_Bazaar
> 
> It is _very_ worrisome.  It's not 100% clear to me from that link 
> exactly how the Supreme Court ruled, since it says that it _did_ rule, 
> but the Science excerpt only mentions 'asking the court to review a 
> lower court decision'. I'm sure that someone used to searching case law 
> could answer this in 2 minutes.

Indeed. :-)

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=Fed&navby=case&no=011567

-- 
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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