pending license change

Vernon Schryver
Thu Mar 17 13:50:10 UTC 2005

> From: Vincent Schonau 

> >    DCC or uses data provided by operation of DCC but does not provide
> >    corresponding data to other users."
> Is this intended to mean DCC servers or deployments which do not connect 
> to the global DCC network, such as it is, but instead only to eachother 
> (or themselves)?

Yes, the intended targets of those words are organizations that use
private DCC networks to support anti-spam appliances and managed email
services.  Mananged email services are what Postini and Brightmail
sell, and apparently what Commtouch itself sold a lot of some years ago.

> > That exception/restriction does not apply to ISPs and others who filter
> > their own spam with their own DCC installations. 
> is part of the global DCC network and a public DCC server 
> but serves only me and a few people close to me as an anti-spam solution 
> (leaving out the spamtraps that feed into it). The DCC servers at XS4ALL 
> which I manage are part of the 'anti-spam solution' that XS4ALL offers 
> which is available to all customers that use e-mail. They connect to the 
> global DCC network but do not 'provide corresponding data' to other 
> users in any other way. Both cases seem to be covered by the intended 
> restriction and then explicitly excepted from it.

Unless I'm mistaken, all of your servers do "provide corresponding
data" to the global network via flooding, albeit some indirectly. 
I also think you do not sell managed email services or anti-spam
appliances.  If I'm right about that, then future releases of the DCC
will be as free as ever to XS4ALL.

> I'm not sure if I fully understand the intended restriction or the 
> exceptions.

The restrictions are intended to affect only organizations that offer
anti-spam services and devices in competition with Commtouch.  They've
never said so, but I think seems plausible that I am on that list.

> > (The new ideas can't be free because they are
> > likely to cost money in fees to third parties).  The agreement includes
> > a promise to me to not sue or try to collect royalties Patent 6,330,590
> > from organizations covered by the new, restricted license.
> This seems to mean that anyone intending to develop something based on 
> the existing DCC code had better be prepared to defend themselves 
> against such claims or be willing to pay royalties to Commtouch.  It may 
> also mean that anyone using the existing DCC code may have to do that. I 
> hope that is not the case.

I have some reason to hope that Commtouch understand that the best way
to compete in the software business is to produce and maintain the
best product and that waving patents around tends to alienate current
and prospective customers.  For example, Ian Bonner, their board
chariman, has experience in the Linux world.

Vernon Schryver

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