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From Ben Laurie <...@algroup.co.uk>
Subject Re: On Tainting/Residual Rights (Was: Re: [Legal] Requirements for Committers)
Date Tue, 14 Jun 2005 11:36:28 GMT
Dalibor Topic wrote:
> Steve Blackburn wrote:
>> Dalibor Topic wrote:
>>> Many people don't see the need to look at non-free software in 
>>> general, and chances are pretty slim that anyone I know will ever get 
>>> that bored and out of reading material to accept the 'Read only' 
>>> license, for an example of a very funny non-free software license.
>> I have never looked at non-free implementations, but I am interested 
>> to know what this means for those of us who have extensive exposure to 
>> implementations such as Kaffe (GPL) or Jikes RVM (CPL).  My reading of 
>> it is that I can't work on any part of Harmony for which I am tainted 
>> by my Jikes RVM exposure without permission from the copyright holder 
>> of Jikes RVM.  Is that right?
> Nope. :)
> 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]

Its not quite as simple as that (I happen to have been taking legal 
advice recently on this question) - if I look at your implementation, 
then I write my own, and my own is substantially similar to yours, then 
I may be infringing your copyright, even if I wrote mine from scratch.

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