[Bf-committers] Guidelines for developer logs, docs & blogs

Ton Roosendaal ton at blender.org
Thu Sep 1 11:55:50 CEST 2011

Hi Matt,

Benjamin's response is correct. It's firstmost just "best practice".

And you know me, I'm very much not paranoid. My guideline advice comes  
from a careful review of our present situation with some lawyers  
(including softwarefreedom.org). I contacted them based on actual  
(potential) legal issues we might get in. Fortunately there's no  
'competitor' who started public legal actions yet, but you can be sure  
they're looking at Blender closely.

The guidelines also won't really guarantee a lot either. It's just a  
first line of defense to ensure that:
- we don't give out sticks that can be used to hurt us
- we communicate clearly that we're backed up by an organization and  
an international free/open source movement.


Ton Roosendaal  Blender Foundation   ton at blender.org    www.blender.org
Blender Institute   Entrepotdok 57A  1018AD Amsterdam   The Netherlands

On 1 Sep, 2011, at 2:58, Benjamin Tolputt wrote:

> On 1/09/2011 10:27 AM, Matt Ebb wrote:
>> I believe the idea is: "don't mention other applications or they  
>> might
>> accuse you of stealing ideas from them". i.e. as far as I know,  
>> it's better
>> to infringe on a patent by accident than it is to do it knowingly,  
>> so try to
>> avoid making it seem like you know of other similar functionality  
>> in other
>> apps. To me this seems a bit paranoid, but I think that  
>> interpretation is
>> the intent of Ton's advice.
> Depending on the jurisdiction involved (*cough* the US *cough*),  
> patent
> infringement can level up to treble the damages for "wilful
> infringement". For it to be wilful, one needs to first prove knowledge
> of said patent. Referencing other applications that explicitly  
> reference
> the patents they hold or are applying for is simply making this easy  
> for
> patent trolls.
> Whether Ton is doing it for this reason or something else, it is not
> actually paranoid behaviour to avoid this issue by doing as he  
> suggests.
> In fact, it has been legal advice I've received multiple times in my
> career regarding the insanity of software patents.
> -- 
> Regards,
> Benjamin Tolputt
> Analyst Programmer
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