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Re: Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] APCO 25

From: Dave Emery
Subject: Re: Subject: [Discuss-gnuradio] APCO 25
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 17:18:56 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

On Sun, Jan 19, 2003 at 11:13:41AM -0500, John Kodis wrote:
> If the FSF or the EFF has an attorney who could provide some expert
> guidance on this issue, that would be a much better approach than
> having a bunch of software and radio geeks trying to figure out what
> the law says about this situation.

        I completely agree.

        But my fear and that of others has been that regardless of the
technical merits of the case if IMBE source code we wrote or integrated
was published to the world for APCO-25 decoding DVSI and/or MIT could
attempt to sue us for patent infringement requiring perhaps tens of
thousands of dollars in legal fees be paid to clear our name.

        And for a non profit-earning hobby type project paying that
kind of cash seems a bit excessive, even if only a possible risk and
by no means a certainty.

        And further, in my particular case because my wife is a well
paid physician there is (some) money in my pockets and such a law suit
could theoretically result in a large judgment that I would have to pay
even though I had earned nothing through my infringement - in general an
aggrieved party goes after someone with money in his pockets ("deep
pockets") rather than suing someone who could pay nothing in damages.

        What may be needed is some starving unemployed engineer or
student to publish the code (someone "judgment proof" in legal jargon).

        And as I understand it one has the right to practice an invention
personally for 'research and experimental purposes', so once such code
was published it would be a considerable stretch for DVSI or MIT to
sue someone using the code for hobby purposes or even writing and 
distributing other code (gnu-radio) which required it to operate
but did not include it in the distribution.

        They could of course attempt to suppress publication and 
distribution in the USA and other places that recognize software patents,
but of course there is the Internet...

        Dave Emery N1PRE,  address@hidden  DIE Consulting, Weston, Mass. 
PGP fingerprint = 2047/4D7B08D1 DE 6E E1 CC 1F 1D 96 E2  5D 27 BD B0 24 88 C3 18

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