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From "Bruno F. Souza" <br...@javaman.com.br>
Subject Re: On Tainting/Residual Rights (Was: Re: [Legal] Requirements for Committers)
Date Thu, 09 Jun 2005 12:10:07 GMT
Dalibor Topic wrote:
> You can look at free software and work on other software as much as you 
> want to, as free software licenses do not claim further rights beyound 
> the rights granted to the author through copyright laws. I.e. if you 
> copy or modify free software works, you are bound by their license 
> terms, as the copyright laws grant the authors a say in derivative 
> works. If you don't do that, then the author has no say in your own, 
> original work. You are allowed to study free software (freedom 1 [1]). 
> You can do what you want with that knowledge, modulo patents and 
> creating derived works.[0]

Well, the "tainting" (if that can be said that way) on open source 
licenses only have any effect if the original license has some 
reciprocity rules (like the GPL/LGPL for example) that prevents you to 
use the code anyway you want. Under copyright, you cannot simply copy 
the code, and as such, Harmony's code should not bear any resemblance to 
other free J2SE implementations to which the license is not Apache 
compatible. As seen in the JBoss vs Geronimo legal discussion, we should 
probably be careful here as well.

And another can or worms is Sun's research license (JRL), that 
specifically says:

      B.  Residual Rights.  You may use any information in
      intangible form that you remember after accessing the
      Technology, except when such use violates Sun's copyrights
      or patent rights.

That pretty much spells out the same as what Dalibor said:

 > You can do what you want with that knowledge, modulo
 > patents [rights] and creating derived works [copyright rights].

So, if we're allowing (with the mentioned care to not infringe copyright 
rights) anyone to work on Harmony that have worked on the open source 
implementations, should we allow those that have read or worked on Sun's 
code under the JRL the same treatment? Or for the sake of extra care, we 
should avoid both or one of the situations? Maybe that would be going 
too far? Geronimo did not avoid contributions from people that worked at 
JBoss, and I understand that besides some trouble along the way, it all 
turned out OK in the end.

More food for though...

Bruno Peres Ferreira de Souza                         Brazil's JavaMan
http://www.javaman.com.br                      bruno at javaman.com.br
         if I fail, if I succeed, at least I live as I believe

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