[vtk-developers] vtkPatented copyright...

Goodwin Lawlor goodwin.lawlor at ucd.ie
Mon Jan 31 10:00:21 EST 2005

Hi All,

I was going to leave vtkPatented out of vtkit but Steve Pieper made a
suggestion that may work:
vtkit has vtkPatented statically linked (but not automatically loaded into
the interpreter) but a tcl script must use "package require vtkpatented" in
order to load and use the patented classes.

The "package require vtkpatented" call could also print out a
copyright/patented notice to the console or popup a warning message box that
the user must accept to continue. Also a warning on the vtkit download page
could be put up.

This would make the user explicitly aware that the classes in vtkPatented
can not be used for commercial applications without a license.

Would this be acceptable?

Should all tcl examples/tests require a "package require vtkpatented" when
using patented classes?



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Brad King" <brad.king at kitware.com>
To: "Goodwin Lawlor" <goodwin.lawlor at ucd.ie>
Cc: <vtk-developers at vtk.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 1:55 PM
Subject: Re: [vtk-developers] vtkPatented copyright...

> Goodwin Lawlor wrote:
> > Can I distribute a binary (
> > http://www.bioengineering-research.com/vtk/vtkit.htm ), for free, that
> > includes the vtkPatented library- so long as the kitware copyright
> > along with it? I know users had to compile the patented library before-
> > binary couldn't be download from kitware (this may have changed).
> >
> > Could someone use VTKit to make a starpack (commercial) application that
> > didn't use the vtkPatented library but had the library linked. Or should
> > there be a non-vtkPatented version of VTKit aswell?
> >
> > I presume if someone wanted to use the patented classes in VTKit, they
> > apply for a license from the appropiate source?
> Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, the answer below is from my understanding
> of the situation.
> The code in the vtkPatented kit is provided under an agreement with the
> patent holders.  This agreement states that anyone who uses this code
> must be explicitly aware that the code is patented.  This is why
> VTK_USE_PATENTED is off by default.  Users that want to use the code
> must explicitly turn on this option.  Therefore if they violate the
> patent it is their own fault.
> If you distribute the code in binary form then it is possible that it
> may be used by someone who is not aware it is patented.  As far as I
> know the only way to distribute it this way is to obtain permission from
> the patent holders, which usually means paying a fee (perhaps per copy
> distributed).
> -Brad
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