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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Should we be warning Committers?
Date Fri, 05 Oct 2007 20:03:27 GMT
I just want to caution that what you say about a "clean room" implementation
avoiding copyright infringement is true, but it doesn't apply to patents.

/Larry

> -----Original Message-----
> From: William A. Rowe, Jr. [mailto:wrowe@rowe-clan.net]
> Sent: Friday, October 05, 2007 11:54 AM
> To: Noel J. Bergman
> Cc: legal-discuss@apache.org
> Subject: Re: Should we be warning Committers?
> 
> Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
> >
> > On Oct 5, 2007, at 10:17 AM, Noel J. Bergman wrote:
> >>
> >> How do the concerns raised by Miguel de Icaza and others regarding the
> >> .NET framework sources differ those addressed by Harmony's "Authorized
> >> Contributor Questionnaire"
> >> (http://harmony.apache.org/auth_cont_quest.html)?  As I read Harmony's
> >> document, having read the source code for java.*, published in src.jar
> >> with each release, disqualifies you from contributing to the related
> >> area in Harmony.
> >
> > That was our choice to ensure that there was no possibility of code
> > making it accidentally over the line, because sun shipped their source
> > all over the place.  It was a natural thing to debug into it in many
> > environments.
> >
> > Sun made it very clear that the weren't going to formally disclaim any
> > interest in "structural similarity", which I am sure we're going to have
> > given we have smart people implementing the same classes to the same
> > spec, so we went the conservative route.
> 
> Exactly.  There are certain projects *here* such as the MS document
> parsers that would and should avoid looking at MS implementations of the
> code.  But that group already knows that.  These are all special cases.
> 
> >> So which is it?  Does the situation differ, or should the handling be
> >> the same?  And where does one draw the distinction?  Does it effect
> >> Harmony because it is implementing those classes, as opposed to being
> >> a user of them?
> >
> > It was the Harmony project choice, not a requirement or request of the
> > ASF or the Incubator.  We wanted to be as sure as we could that we
> > limited the problems that could happen later.  The current TCK battle is
> > proof that we were right in thinking this way, because clearly Sun
> > doesn't want this to happen.
> 
> And I'm sure that the mono project will adopt similar.
> 
> For example, you won't catch me touching any IIS interface sources
> to ASP.NET with a 10 foot poll given my mod-aspdotnet module.
> 
> That said, there is really no reason to call this out except on a project
> by project basis.  There is nothing *new* here, but there is the same
> common sense that one needed to apply a week ago before the hullabaloo.
> 
> Bill
> 
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