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Current License in Progress:
Executive Summary
Version 0.1.11
Printable 0.1.11
For those with text-based clients:
Table of OPL Options & Pools
Older Snapshots:
Version 0.1.10
Printable 0.1.10
Version 0.1.9
Printable 0.1.9
General goals:

Promote the development and use of Open Source software Every patent submitted under this license will become available, royalty-free, in any Open Source work.
Prevent patents from hindering non-Open Source software If the software contains patents exclusively from one or more specific Open Patent Pools, then the software can be written and distributed royalty-free, by companies who have agreed to the terms of that pool.
Encourage anti-monopolistic behavior Patents and Copyrights are monopolies granted by governments. The creation and protection of intellectual properties is monopolistic to begin with. Under the OPL, the more openly you license your intellectual property for the world to use, the more intellectual property becomes available for you to use. The more you abandon the notion of monopolizing your intellectual property, the more you benefit. Anti-monopolistic behavior is encouraged and rewarded.
Provide a cost-effective choice that enhances product development and speeds deployment Even when cooperation among participants through free cross-licensing of patents initially ends up costing about the same as the costs of royalty negotiations, the decision to make use of this license will provide the participants with the ability to make use of a far larger set of patents than would ever have been seriously considered in the original negotiation.

Access to a far larger set of patents means that future product development will not be nearly as restricted as would be the case if further negotiations were required before product changes could be implemented.

Avoidable intellectual property restrictions won't limit creativity in product design, legal costs lower, and time-to-market shortens.

Provide patent owners with a safe method to freely share their inventions. The patent system generally discourages free licensing of inventions. Even if the patent owner would rather not limit the ability of the public to use the patented ideas, traditional, free licensing of the patent could often be to the owners detriment, making such licensing a rare and unlikely occurance. It is especially unlikely that a corporate patent owner would act against itself in this way, even if the heads of the corporation believe that such a restriction of the use of ideas and general knowledge is unethical. This dilema is an especially troublesome issue in the area of software patents, which are widely believed to be detrimental to progress, and which greatly restrict individual writers.

This license is designed to enable patent owners to freely share their inventions, and benefit by doing so, thus providing patent owners with a new option for a previously difficult ethical decision.

Help reverse the current tendency to restrict the results and processes of basic scientific research. The results of basic scientific research done at colleges and universities are increasingly available to the public only through restrictive licensing. Even if these restrictions are intended to affect only commercial implementations of the new inventions and discoveries, the notion of imposing restrictions on knowledge and ideas as a method of funding basic research is at odds with fundamental principles of scientific inquiry.

Although not a complete solution to the problem by any means, this license will at least allow colleges and universities to license their intellectual property to other organizations as openly as other organizations license theirs. It's not a complete solution, but it is at least a definite improvement.

Last Modified on April 27 2007 00:57:07 UTC
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