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From "Geir Magnusson Jr." <ge...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Sun JRL
Date Thu, 12 May 2005 18:58:54 GMT

On May 9, 2005, at 10:39 AM, Jeffrey Thompson wrote:

> Well, it depends on whether you would call this "a catch".
> The residual knowledge clause addresses any confidential  
> information that the source code would contain.  The exact words  
> are "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."

Which is far more liberal than others addressing confidential  
information that I've seen :)

> Notice that the residuals clause does not extend to copyrights.   
> You can study Sun's source code under the JRL and then turn around  
> and write your own implementation relying solely on what you  
> remember, and you're covered for any potential trade secrets that  
> Sun might have had.  However, if your code turns out to be  
> "substantially similar" (an intentionally vague legal standard),  
> then Sun might have a copyright claim that it can assert.  You need  
> to make sure that your code is not substantially similiar.  How one  
> does that without constantly referring to the code that you're  
> trying not to copy without looking like you're trying to copy  
> without getting caught is an interesting question.

How is this any different than looking at any other copyrighted  
material for which you don't have a license to freely copy?

> Sun probably didn't intend this result.  What they probably meant  
> was that as long as you aren't making literal copies of material  
> portions of their source code, you're covered by the residuals  
> clause.  If that's the case, I think their desire for brevity got  
> in the way of clarity.  They would need to expand that section a  
> bit to make it clear that the residuals license covered copyright  
> issues as well as long as you didn't literally copy large amounts  
> of code.

As part of the Harmony prep, issues around this have been identified,  
and I am working to get the conversation going between Sun and the  
larger community on this issue.  I hope we all want the same thing here.


> Jeff
> Staff Counsel, IBM Corporation  (914)766-1757  (tie)8-826  (fax) -8160
> (notes) jthom@ibmus  (internet) jthom@us.ibm.com (home) jeff@beff.net
> (web) http://www.beff.net/

Geir Magnusson Jr                                  +1-203-665-6437

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