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From "Andrew C. Oliver" <acoli...@buni.org>
Subject PATENT ENCUMBRANCES OOXML
Date Sun, 13 Apr 2008 01:25:56 GMT
First, don't bother sending me any "you hurt my feelings" emails.  It is 
simply not possible to adequately convey emotion via email.  There are 
several emails on this: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0515/p13s01-stct.html

It isn't that I'm rude, it is that I just don't care about anything but 
the matter itself (or I'd be quietly doing my occasional bugzilla stuff, 
a rare commit and occasional 'nanny' work very quietly).

The ONLY regret that I have is that I somehow keep feeding these little 
sidetrack threads that are sooo irrelevant to me and POI.  Let's address 
the issues.

One thing that may come through is that I simply do not care unless the 
issue at hand is addressed.  This will come through very curtly, but it 
is merely ambivalence.  I was telling nick that I didn't accept the blog 
post as an unbiased authoritative reference.  I stand by that, don't 
bother trying to convince me otherwise unless you do so as outlined below.

 > No part of this mail need be considered private, some of my later
 > comments might be useful diffusing the dispute on the general list.

Great! Since it is public, I'll publish it.  I don't really like private 
mails about open source.  The entirety of the email is posted at the end 
after my responses since I've snipped all of the stuff that doesn't 
interest me.

** snip: I don't care about anything but the issue at hand **

 > More eyes than usual are on POI right now. Please, lets be careful.
 >

I agree!  Let's be careful to ensure that POI remains legitimately open 
source and that we continue to behave as an open source project (which 
means resolving the issue in the open source project and not in private 
mails).

I'm not going to address any of your personal/OSSWatch bla bla.  I just 
don't care about the issue at all, it is a blog.  I always feel guilty 
when blogging and even guiltier when reading blogs because they're cheap 
tabloid entertainment of non authoritative material (even Wikipedia 
increasingly discourages their use as references).

 > I stress, we are publicly funded. We have no commercial relationship
 > with anyone. There is no reason for us to be anything other than 
impartial.
 >

or authoritative.  Unless you have a lawyer GIVING US/POI/Apache a legal 
opinion (as our now voluntary lawyer with a fiduciary responsibility to 
us that s/he accepts as our lawyer) that the MS contributions via source 
sense can be legally distributed and used under OSD-compatible terms 
(not to mention ASL), or if you're getting Microsoft to explain their 
OSP in those terms including that a "best effort" to "conform" is 
covered by the patent pledge (I.E. no sun style TCK with backended 
license terms), or if you're getting Microsoft to sign a CLA-C then 
guess I just don't care what you're saying.  Nor should anyone, you're a 
guy with a blog and an opinion.  There are millions of them!

 > The official response Rowan relieved from the MS PR division is
 > encouraging and quotable. I'm no lawyer, but I'd have thought a quote
 > provided by Microsoft to an organisation like OSS Watch would be of
 > interest to any court asked to decode MS's intent. That quote appears in
 > Rowans blog post:
 >

It is also completely irrelevant.

 > "Apache libraries are open source code, and available through broad
 > licensing. Any required Microsoft patent rights relative to Office Open
 > XML are available on a royalty-free, perpetual basis to all
 > implementers, as outlined within the Microsoft Open Specification 
Promise."
 >

If Microsoft would care to cover the issues with this that I posted on 
earlier (namely what "conform" means in this context, does POI have to 
be certified by Microsoft as "conforming" to the specification in order 
to distribute under OSD compatible terms [see Apache Harmony, Geronimo, 
JBoss, etc] or does that mean that "best effort" to conform is good 
enough and that it can go in a public repository etc).  Or why can they 
not sign a CLA-C.  Noting that if they were to sign one then this thread 
goes away REALLY QUICKLY and no one has to even guess what their poorly 
worded promise means and whether it is legally binding.

 > It's up to the POI PMC to decide if the Microsoft Open Specification
 > Promise is sufficient.
 >

and as a member of that pmc (though I've had issues getting the emails 
for some time) I'm casting my -1 and saying please REVERT the source 
sense code or resolve the issues I've outlined.  Preferably by getting 
Microsoft to sign the CLA-C.  I wouldn't repeat myself so much if the 
replies addressed the issues I mention instead of completely irrelevant 
things.

And this is like the 100th time I've vetoed something for legal 
problems.  In fact I recall we killed the POI:TNEF thing because 
Microsoft wouldn't even reply that the guy that wanted to contribute it 
was on okay legal grounds despite action at the board level.  Only when 
there are interests and third parties who are interested do these little 
vetoes of mine blow up into big things and the private emails start 
flying (which only adds to my naturally suspicious nature).  Despite in 
every post saying "I want to see this here".

Thanks,

Andy

Ross Gardler wrote:
> This mail refers to the post at 
> http://markmail.org/message/b7txqj7yxo7deban#query:+page:1+mid:6wdmfoi6eaceruur+state:results

> 
> 
> I've sent this to private@poi.apache.org as I don't see the need to 
> complain about a fellow ASF Member in public.
> 
> No part of this mail need be considered private, some of my later 
> comments might be useful diffusing the dispute on the general list.
> 
> I've cc'd Rowan Wilson, the author of the blog post referred to in the 
> above linked email.
> 
> I should make it clear that I have two hats here, one as an ASF member 
> and one as service manager of OSS Watch.
> 
> [ASF hat on]
> 
> I am disappointed that an ASF committer (not to mention Member) would 
> feel it acceptable to use a public mailing list to hint at some kind of 
> collusion between committers, members, commercial partners and 
> non-profits without a little desk research first.
> 
> Looking through OSS Watch materials you'll find they comment on topics 
> such as an open source implementation of OOXML whenever they are of 
> interest to the UK HE & FE community.
> 
> For example, try searching for "Patent" on their website [1] or blog [2]
> 
> There is *nothing* "mysterious" about OSS Watch serving the UK HE & FE 
> community in this way.
> 
> In fact, still with my ASF hat on, I'd say it's a shame there aren't 
> more commentators with the balance and level headedness we find in 
> Rowans opinion piece.
> 
> OSS Watch rely on their reputation for "unbiased advice and guidance" 
> (from the first sentence of their home page). To question their ability 
> in this regard, publicly and without justification is totally unacceptable.
> 
> More eyes than usual are on POI right now. Please, lets be careful.
> 
> [OSS Watch hat on]
> 
> OSS Watch is a publicly funded non-advocacy advisory service for the UK 
> HE and FE sector. We are based at the University of Oxford.
> 
> I stress, we are publicly funded. We have no commercial relationship 
> with anyone. There is no reason for us to be anything other than impartial.
> 
> An open source implementation of OOXML is of considerable interest to 
> our community, it is therefore part of our advisory role to comment on 
> such issues.
> 
> In writing this opinion piece Rowan avoided engaging with anyone at 
> Sourcesense. I was not directly involved with writing the piece. Rowan 
> did ask Microsoft for comment.
> 
> After the opinion piece was published Rowan asked me to bring it to the 
> attention of Sourcesense staff, which I did with the following words:
> 
> "OSS Watch's legal eagle has blogged about the MS issue complete with 
> quote from MS. Maybe our independent status can help add balance."
> 
> I've attached the email which was sent to Gianugo and Andrew. Let me 
> stress this was the first communication OSS Watch had with anyone at 
> Saurcesense about this issue.
> 
> The official response Rowan relieved from the MS PR division is 
> encouraging and quotable. I'm no lawyer, but I'd have thought a quote 
> provided by Microsoft to an organisation like OSS Watch would be of 
> interest to any court asked to decode MS's intent. That quote appears in 
> Rowans blog post:
> 
> "Apache libraries are open source code, and available through broad 
> licensing. Any required Microsoft patent rights relative to Office Open 
> XML are available on a royalty-free, perpetual basis to all 
> implementers, as outlined within the Microsoft Open Specification Promise."
> 
> It's up to the POI PMC to decide if the Microsoft Open Specification 
> Promise is sufficient.
> 
> Ross
> 
> [1] 
> http://googlesearch.oucs.ox.ac.uk/search?site=osswatch&Unit=OSS+Watch&UnitPicture=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oucs.ox.ac.uk%2Fpublish%2Fimages%2Fblank.gif&client=oxford&proxystylesheet=osswatch&output=xml_no_dtd&filter=1&q=patent&Go=Go%21&domains=ox.ac.uk

> 
> [2] http://involve.jisc.ac.uk/wpmu/oss-watch/?s=Patent
> 
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Subject:
> A MS + SourceSense Blog [Fwd: Blog post]
> From:
> Ross Gardler <ross.gardler@oucs.ox.ac.uk>
> Date:
> Wed, 09 Apr 2008 16:06:43 +0100
> To:
> gianugo@apache.org, Andrew Savory <a.savory@sourcesense.com>
> 
> To:
> gianugo@apache.org, Andrew Savory <a.savory@sourcesense.com>
> CC:
> Rowan Wilson <rowan.wilson@oucs.ox.ac.uk>
> 
> Message-ID:
> <47FCDB83.4060409@oucs.ox.ac.uk>
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> Thunderbird 2.0.0.12 (Windows/20080213)
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> 
> 
> Gianugo
> 
> OSS Watch's legal eagle has blogged about the MS issue complete with 
> quote from MS. Maybe our independent status can help add balance.
> 
> See FWD
> 
> Ross
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Subject:
> Blog post
> From:
> "Rowan Wilson" <rowan.wilson@oucs.ox.ac.uk>
> Date:
> Wed, 9 Apr 2008 11:58:21 +0100
> To:
> "Ross Gardler" <Ross.gardler@oucs.ox.ac.uk>
> 
> To:
> "Ross Gardler" <Ross.gardler@oucs.ox.ac.uk>
> 
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> 
> MS got back to me eventually so I posted on the issue
> 
> http://involve.jisc.ac.uk/wpmu/oss-watch/2008/04/09/microsoft-poi-and-odd-distinctions/
> 
> I was wondering if you know this Sourcesense geezer Gianugo via
> Apache, and could point the post out to him, as he's getting a lot of
> stick on the POI list for what would appear to be no reason at all...
> 
> Rowan


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