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From Roland Weber <ossf...@dubioso.net>
Subject [Fwd: Re: MySQL licensing policy]
Date Sat, 07 Apr 2007 10:50:54 GMT
I'm getting confused by my email agent lately. I accidentally sent
this note directly to Mike (twice, with different accounts), and then
again to this list using the wrong account. Maybe I get it right this
time. My apologies to everyone getting the duplicates...

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: MySQL licensing policy
Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2007 08:58:52 +0200
From: Roland Weber <ossfwot@dubioso.net>
To: Mike Heath <mheath@apache.org>
References: <45a054f50704051721o5c584dfcvfaa258ff7ee7f0c8@mail.gmail.com>

Hi Mike,

> "Therefore if you use this description to write a program,
> you must release your program as GPL."  How is this at all
> enforceable?

The safe way is a clean room implementation: let person A
analyse the GPLed code and write a specification of the protocol.
Then let person B, who never looked at the GPLed code, implement
the protocol "in a clean room", based exclusively on the spec
written by person A. Every person who has seen the original code
is "contaminated" and can not be allowed to contribute code to
the clean room implementation. That's a common procedure for
alternative Java implementations, for example.
If the same person that looks at the code creates the alternative
implementation, you're getting into muddy waters. It will be very
hard to avoid creating at least some code that is very similar to
the GPLed original. And how would you prove that you did not type
in the code you read previously, even if only from memory?
Renaming variables or different formatting doesn't count.

just me 0.02€, and IANAL...
  Roland



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