[openssl-users] ECC patent status questions

Jakob Bohm jb-openssl at wisemo.com
Fri Sep 2 02:13:55 UTC 2016

On 02/09/2016 03:27, Kyle Hamilton wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 3:43 PM, Salz, Rich <rsalz at akamai.com 
> <mailto:rsalz at akamai.com>>wrote:
>     > The existence of the NSA agreement is a partial answer to the first
>     question,
>     > though it seems unclear if this license is recursively
>     sublicensed through 3rd
>     > parties or not.
>     They knew they were licensing an open source toolkit.
> So, it looks as though the only way for any one of us to be able to 
> have a patent license under the NSA's license to OpenSSL Software 
> Foundation is to get a separate license from you that doesn't allow us 
> to redistribute or resell it.  (I'm not a lawyer, but it appears to be 
> the only way that we would be able to qualify under the "End User" 
> definition 1A, as referenced in the grant under section 2.)
Or maybe there is some quirk of US copyright law which causes the
"have made" clause to formally include all copying of OpenSSL done
under license from the Foundation, as those are done under the
Foundation's exclusive right (as copyright holder) to "have copies
made".  I honestly don't know.
> Is such a license available?  Could such a license be granted 
> severally to the same people who also receive the standard BSD 
> license, such that each individual actually receives two separate 
> licenses for the same code (i.e., one granted with extremely limited 
> rights solely for the purpose of qualifying to receive the NSA ECC 
> patent license, the other being separately granted to permit 
> redistribution and resale of integrated components but not granting 
> any ECC license transitively)?
> If such a severed license were possible, I would think that such would 
> require that the recipient of the first (limited) license obtain the 
> code directly from openssl.org <http://openssl.org>.
Kind of why I asked.  And that would be impractical where OpenSSL
is already linked into something (such as the firmware of a


Jakob Bohm, CIO, Partner, WiseMo A/S.  https://www.wisemo.com
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