1993-02-21 - RSA licensing policy

Header Data

From: Eric Hughes <hughes@soda.berkeley.edu>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 0cd8d7a1c64b83f9879596af8edcf588ba16b718587388af410a6b85d63ba99f
Message ID: <9302212228.AA07818@soda.berkeley.edu>
Reply To: <9302201549.AA12245@IMSI.COM>
UTC Datetime: 1993-02-21 22:32:28 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 21 Feb 93 14:32:28 PST

Raw message

From: Eric Hughes <hughes@soda.berkeley.edu>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 93 14:32:28 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: RSA licensing policy
In-Reply-To: <9302201549.AA12245@IMSI.COM>
Message-ID: <9302212228.AA07818@soda.berkeley.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>Anyone get very far with the CELP stuff yet?  I forget: is it or isn't
>it "acceptable use" to implement Diffie-Helman in code you don't sell?
>What if you sell it later?  At what point do you need to license it?

This letter is not intended to start a flame war about patent rights,
licensing, or anything similar.  Reply directly to me.

I've spoken with Jim Bidzos, president of RSADSI, about this very
issue recently.  They have a very easy to understand principle that
governs the use of their patents.  I am rephrasing it; at no time was
this actually spoken.  It's very simple: "If you make money with it,
so do we."  Their licenses are not out of line with patent licenses
generally (and not just computer-related ones).

If you make public domain software and use it for personal use, RSADSI
will not come after you.

If you make commercial software and sell it without obtaining a
license, they will after you.  If you use the software as a
"mission-critical" part of your business and do not obtain a license,
they will come after you.

There are grey areas between these two poles.  I do not address them.