Using GPG in the US

brian moore bem at
Mon Nov 23 15:45:29 CET 1998

On Mon, Nov 23, 1998 at 05:11:55PM -0600, Richard Lynch wrote:
> At the risk of sounding like a jerk, the answer seems pretty clear:
> These are patented technologies.  The holders of these patents can bring
> suit against people who use them without paying license fees.  The only
> legal way to use them is to contact RSA (the company) and pay them big
> piles of money.  I assume IDEA is similar, but am not familiar with IDEA.

Although RSADSI doesn't usually go after individuals, I wouldn't rule it
out.  Stick with DH/DSS and wait for the RSA patent to expire. :)

IDEA's license is printed at the start of idea.c, available on the ftp
site.  It's much more reasonable than RSA's (it doesn't tie you to using
their code, for example: RSA mandates using RSAREF) and implies it's
possible to get a license for 'freeware' if you ask nice:

       Requests by freeware developers to obtain a royalty-free
       license to spread an application program containing the
       algorithm for non-commercial purposes must be directed to

Of course, patented code still sucks, but at least they're not as evil
as RSA.   (Patent holder do have to enforce their patents to protect
them, but granting a 'free license' doesn't mandate giving up their
patent as non-enforcement would.)

Brian Moore                       | "The Zen nature of a spammer resembles
      Sysadmin, C/Perl Hacker     |  a cockroach, except that the cockroach
      Usenet Vandal               |  is higher up on the evolutionary chain."
      Netscum, Bane of Elves.                 Peter Olson, Delphi Postmaster

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