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From Leo Simons <m...@leosimons.com>
Subject Re: SableVM? -- ICLA details
Date Fri, 24 Mar 2006 12:13:31 GMT
On Thu, Mar 23, 2006 at 01:57:51PM -0800, Dalibor Topic wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 23, 2006 at 01:12:33PM -0800, Leo Simons wrote:
> > Dalibor,
> > 
> > On Thu, Mar 23, 2006 at 09:46:16AM -0800, Dalibor Topic wrote:
> > > On Thu, Mar 23, 2006 at 10:32:19AM -0500, Etienne Gagnon wrote:
> > > > 5- The ASF provides me with an official, legally binding document,
> > > >  signed by officers that have sufficient rights to do so, stating that
> > > >  it will only sub-license (distribute, etc.) code contributed by SableVM
> > > >  authors (can be identified specifically) and derivatives of this code,
> > > >  under licenses that require explicit acknowledgment of the copyright
> > > >  of these authors and that require redistribution of the related text
> > > >  found in the NOTICE file.  [I have no trouble letting the ASF lawyers
> > > >  come up with some text proposal.  I would highly suggest reusing words
> > > >  off the Apache License 2.0 to do so.  I can even propose some text, if
> > > >  you wish me to do so.]
> > > 
> > > Is the intent that you want to be able to claim copyright on VMs linking
> > > to Harmony's VM modules?
> > 
> > Huh?
> > 
> > Regardless of intent (something I can't answer for obviously), how would that
> > possibly be a valid claim? Attribution of A with regard to X is not in any
> > way related to copyright of A with regard to Y, right?
> 
> Sure, but that's something a downstream user wouldn't want to have to court 
> over, if they can avoid it.

Of course.

> If a downstream user ends up using a module from 
> Harmony in their VM, and if some SableVM developer regards such use as creating 
> a derivative work, that he has a shared copyright in

This is not a completely unlikely situation.

> , that that can
> lead to no end of confusion over the actual license of a VM using
> modules from Harmony, if the SableVM developer believes to have a say in
> it.

No I would say that it cannot, since that sablevm developer would at a minimum
have licensed the software under the apache license to apache, and then apache
would have licensed that software to the end user under the apache license, and
what that means is rather clear.

The only thing this hypothetical sablevm developer could do is complain that the
license under which he licensed the code is not followed, but in that case it would
probably be much much more productive to go and talk to the ASF directly. If the
sablevm developer was right, obviously that would be very annoying to the end user
as well as for the ASF, but still not all that confusing.

> I'm asking since going to court over disagreement of Kaffe's license's effects 
> has been explained to me by some SableVM developers as a possible consequence 
> of using SableVM's code in the past

I have no idea what "Kaffe's license's effects" means. Honestly, the IP trail for
kaffe is at best incomprehensible to most mortals, so I can somehow imagine lots
of room for disagreement :-). In any case, the IP trail for harmony should be
somewhat simpler.

>, so we have avoided using their code
> to protect our end users and distributors from potential lawsuits. I'd
> like to be able to use code in Harmony without fear of being dragged to court
> for copyright infringement, if I interpret the license on my own code
> differently from some SableVM developer, no matter which license it is.

Me too. While in some ways there is always fear of being dragged to court (since
for example patents exist), our explicit goal has always been that you won't be
infringing on copyrights with regard to harmony distributions if you comply with
the terms of the apache license (and perhaps some other applicable ones, but I
think so far the applicable ones will be subsets of the apache license), and you
need not fear that you will.

The apache license is a rather nice license. If you trust it to be valid, and that
all the people applying it apply it properly, and you yourself apply it properly,
then there is not so much room for different interpretation or confusion as there
is for (for example) GPLv2, and hence not so much chance of getting sued.

cheers,

Leo

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