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From "n. alex rupp" <>
Subject Commitment to resolve this matter with JBoss
Date Tue, 11 Nov 2003 19:36:59 GMT
(I am not a lawyer and am not a member of the ASF.  I express only my opinions

I agree with Jim and Noel, but it *is* the responsibility of a copyright owner
to enforce their property rights and the terms of their license.  I think they
might have involved lawyers as a precautionary step to ensure we take them
seriously.  And we should, it goes without saying.  There's been buzz for months
about JBoss' concerns over the potential abuse of their property, and I think
they should know that we welcome their input and will work to address any
concerns they might have about the origins of our work.

Some of their examples (like Alan C's post describing how he took code from Elba
for use in his JAAS implementation) should raise some eyebrows.  But the real
question remains--is this what he ended up doing, and who owned the copyright
authority for the files he claims to have taken from Elba?  Was it one of the
commiters here?  If so, there's no foul play afoot because it's their property
and they've made their wishes with regards to that property well known.  If it
wasn't their property, if they developed a derivative of someone else's property
under terms of a license, then they must continue to abide by the terms of that

If the ownership of the property is disputed, then obviously there will be

Now, Fleury pointed out on TSS yesterday that JBoss wasn't as concerned with the
client contracts of the software, or of its interfaces, but the implementation
details.  Of course, this wasn't in the letter from the lawyers, and our
community could at this point decide that since legal forces have already been
brought to bear on the matter, that we're going to require that JBoss continue
that course and go through legal channels to solve every aspect of the matter.

However, many people have expressed that we would have preferred to do this
without the legal thunderclouds overhead, and that we don't need to be coerced
in order to work with them on this matter.  If we choose to take this course,
then it follows that we should welcome JBoss' direct involvement in resolving
the issue and should focus on addressing the details of their concerns as they
are brought to our attention on this list.  I don't think it is reasonable that
we demand everyone stop working and cross-check their code with JBoss 3.2 code
to make sure there's no remarkable similarities in their classnames or method
signatures.  Obviously there are disputes about who owns how much of what, and
the responsibility lies with JBoss, one way or another, to enforce their rights.
Demanding that the committers halt progress and guarantee their code file by
file and line by line is in essence a vote of no confidence that they've
honestly represented their work.

Aside from taking every effort to ensure we do not violate anyone's property
rights while we are developing Geronimo, I think the most important thing is
that we commit ourselves to addressing JBoss' concerns whenever they are brought
to our attention and to resolve this conflict in a polite, straightforward and
public manner.  We can set a good example for the rest of the community that
SCO's way isn't the only way to enforce one's property rights and that Open
Source communities are respectful of people's property.

Also, for the record, I can guarantee with absolute certainty that every line of
code inside the console-web module is my own original product, developed from
scratch using nothing but standard API documentation as a reference, that it has
never existed under any license other than the Apache Software License.  It does
not violate anyone's copyright claims and is my property, and therefore mine to
license to the ASF.

: )
N. Alex Rupp (

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim Jagielski" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 7:34 AM
Subject: Re: A Letter from JBoss's lawyers

> On Nov 10, 2003, at 6:26 PM, Noel J. Bergman wrote:
> >
> > Inviting JBoss to submit any substantive claims that they may have
> > directly
> > to so that they can be addressed
> > seems a
> > reasonable step.
> >
> >
> That's true, but the onus is on *us* to ensure that no (L)GPL
> code exists and that all code in Geronimo has no encumbrances
> that would prevent it being licensed under the Apache
> License. Feedback from JBoss is useful, of course, but
> it's not really their job to pick through the code. It's
> the job of the developers and committers.

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