Subject: Re: OpenSSL import
To: None <>
From: Julian Assange <>
List: tech-security
Date: 06/29/1999 16:24:32
"Perry E. Metzger" <> writes:

> "Michael C. Richardson" <> writes:
> >   There will be at least five libraries built from by reachover's
> > from this:
> > 	libdes.a
> > 	libcrypto.a
> > 	libasn1.a		
> > 	librsa.a		(not built for "NO_RSA=true")
> > 	libidea.a		(not built for "NO_IDEA=true")
> RSA is conceivably reasonable to build for non-US users, though a long
> argument could be made on the topic. IDEA is not reasonable to build
> for anyone, within or outside the US. It is patented, and commercial
> use is restricted. There is no NetBSD distribution in which our
> license policies would be met by the IDEA patents. IDEA must not be
> compiled or shipped -- this is not something we can reasonably make an
> option.

Here is what I say in my crypto distributions:

# $Id: PATENTS,v 1999/01/22 03:23:10 proff Exp $
# $Smallcopyright:$

Some of the cipher's used by XXX fall under algorithmic
patents. These patents are invoked with royalties due under certain

	1) The cipher is one of IDEA or RC5. AND

	2) The cipher is used for a commercial purpose (although
	   see how Ascom defines ``commercial purpose''). AND

	3) The cipher is IDEA and is used in the United States,
           Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain,
	   Sweden, Switzerland or Japan (patent pending only for Japan
           as of the time of writing). OR

	4) The cipher is RC5 and is used in the United States.

Details on how to obtain an end-user license for IDEA and RC5 are at the
end of this document.

There is also a potential issue for those in the USA surrounding RC2
and RC4 (although probably not my 16 bit `RC4-like' cipher RC16).
Both of these two cipher's were developed by Rivest. They became
trade-secrets of RSA (the company), but were NEVER PATENTED. In Sept
1994 an Anonymous poster using the non-deplume `David Sterndark'
(David Sternlight was/is a popularly detested retired conservative
poster to sci.crypt) publicly posted C source code for the RC4
algorithm.  RSA immediately issued a strongly worded statement
claiming that the RC4 algorithm was a `trade-secret'. However, the
understanding I and and other people have of US trade-secret law is
that it only applies to those who have a duty to keep trade-secrets
secret (i.e RSA employees or contractors working under an NDA). The
conjecture is that the cipher was reverse-engineered from object code
by someone who was not an RSA employee (i.e someone who had no duty to
keep RSA trade-secrets secret) rather than leaked from an internal
source (or taken from RSA development machines by a hacker). RSA have
huffed-and-puffed stating that their BSAFE (the RSA crypto-library)
license makes reverse-engineering verboten. However it doesn't
necessarily follow that merely because someone broke an
anti-reverse-engineering license clause (which might not be valid
anyway) that everyone else who hears (in good faith) a description of
the algorithm is `in-receipt of stolen goods'. And it's entirely
possible that the reverse-engineer was not held to any such
license. RSA, for their part (publicly) seem to have no-idea who David
Sterndark is and haven't been able to show that Sterndark was under
any sort of trade-secret obligation.  The same situation applies to
RC2, which was posted publicly in Feb 1996.


  The IDEA algorithm is patented by Ascom Systec Ltd. of CH-5506 Maegenwil,
  Switzerland, who allow it to be used on a royalty-free basis for certain
  non-profit applications.  Commercial users must obtain a license from the
  company in order to use IDEA.  IDEA may be used on a royalty-free basis under
  the following conditions:

  Free use for private purposes:

  The free use of software containing the algorithm is strictly limited to non
  revenue generating data transfer between private individuals, ie not serving
  commercial purposes.  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 Ascom.

  Special offer for shareware developers:

  There is a special waiver for shareware developers.  Such waiver eliminates
  the upfront fees as well as royalties for the first US$10,000 gross sales of
  a product containing the algorithm if and only if:

  1. The product is being sold for a minimum of US$10 and a maximum of US$50.
  2. The source code for the shareware is available to the public.

  Special conditions for research projects:

  The use of the algorithm in research projects is free provided that it serves
  the purpose of such project and within the project duration.  Any use of the
  algorithm after the termination of a project including activities resulting
  from a project and for purposes not directly related to the project requires
  a license.

  Ascom Tech requires the following notice to be included for freeware

  This software product contains the IDEA algorithm as described and claimed in
  US patent 5,214,703, EPO patent 0482154 (covering Austria, France, Germany,
  Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK), and Japanese
  patent application 508119/1991, "Device for the conversion of a digital block
  and use of same" (hereinafter referred to as "the algorithm").  Any use of
  the algorithm for commercial purposes is thus subject to a license from Ascom
  Systec Ltd. of CH-5506 Maegenwil (Switzerland), being the patentee and sole
  owner of all rights, including the trademark IDEA.

  Commercial purposes shall mean any revenue generating purpose including but
  not limited to:

  i) Using the algorithm for company internal purposes (subject to a site

  ii) Incorporating the algorithm into any software and distributing such
      software and/or providing services relating thereto to others (subject to
      a product license).

  iii) Using a product containing the algorithm not covered by an IDEA license
       (subject to an end user license).

  All such end user license agreements are available exclusively from Ascom
  Systec Ltd and may be requested via the WWW at or
  by email to

  Use other than for commercial purposes is strictly limited to non-revenue
  generating data transfer between private individuals.  The use by government
  agencies, non-profit organizations, etc is considered as use for commercial
  purposes but may be subject to special conditions.  Any misuse will be


  The RC5 algorithm is patented by RSA Data Security Inc. 100 Marine Parkway,
  Redwoord City, California 94065, ph.+1 415 595-8782, fax +1 415 595-1873, and
  cannot be used commercially in the US without a license.

Prof. Julian Assange  |If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people
                      |together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks          |and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless  |immensity of the sea. -- Antoine de Saint Exupery