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From "Geir Magnusson Jr." <ge...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [legal] Bulk contribution barrier to entry
Date Wed, 12 Oct 2005 14:11:07 GMT

On Oct 12, 2005, at 2:59 AM, Richard Nienaber wrote:

> What are the implications in the following scenario:
> Person A contributes completely original code X
> Independent reviewer compares X code to copyrighted code Y from  
> $BIGCORP and
> finds them extremely similar

I think it comes down to "how extremely".  For some problems, there  
is only one way to do things.

For example, create a new subclass of Exception that doesn't look  
like ...

public class FooException extends Exception {
     public FooException() {

     public FooException(String message) {

     public FooException(String message, Throwable cause) {
         super(message, cause);

     public FooException(Throwable cause) {

I've actually been in a situation where a lawyer flagged something  
like this as a problem.

So I think that if the implementation is the "obvious" way - the  
canonical way a competent practitioner would do it - we're probably ok.

OTOH, it's still possible to do an independent implementation of  
something that does violate copyright -  if you independently  
composed music that sounded just like Vertigo by U2, you'd have a  
copyright problem.

So I think we'll just have to handle those cases if and when they arise.


> Now, I'm not saying that Person A was lying, they just solved the  
> problem
> in the same way. Does that mean that Person A's contribution has to be
> scrapped and rewritten?

Geir Magnusson Jr                                  +1-203-665-6437

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