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Mail Archives: cygwin-apps/2001/09/03/05:14:35

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Subject: Re: cygipc packaging was Updated setup.ini with descriptions,
categories, and dependencies
From: Robert Collins <robert DOT collins AT itdomain DOT com DOT au>
To: Corinna Vinschen <cygwin-apps AT cygwin DOT com>
In-Reply-To: <20010903101735.A23714@cygbert.vinschen.de>
References: <000b01c133a3$0145ec10$7d6707d5 AT BRAMSCHE>
<3B92B700 DOT 1050201 AT ece DOT gatech DOT edu>
<20010903101735 DOT A23714 AT cygbert DOT vinschen DOT de>
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Date: 03 Sep 2001 19:13:49 +1000
Message-Id: <999508458.30663.11.camel@lifelesswks>
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On 03 Sep 2001 10:17:35 +0200, Corinna Vinschen wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 02, 2001 at 06:47:28PM -0400, Charles Wilson wrote:
> > Back to cygipc: so, this ain't gonna happen.  If we want to have IPC 
> > stuff directly in the cygwin kernel, "we" are going to have to write it 
> > ourselves.  (Unfortunately, I am most likely disallowed from helping, as 
> > are a number of other people.  "Contaminated" by exposure to the cygipc 
> > code.  How can anyone be sure that any code I contribute is not 
> > influenced -- or even copied! -- from my knowledge of the cygipc internals?)
> That's a shame, IMO.  I can't understand it, honestly.  The way
> people learn programming is by looking into code from other, more
> experienced people.  This lame licensing issue is slowing down
> progress.  Imagine: I take a look into a piece of code to see how
> another person implemented functionality `foo'.  This gives me
> an idea _how_ to implement it.  Now I begin to implement my own
> stuff.  I don't copy it.  I make my own improvements.  I'm just
> using the _idea_ how to implement it but I'm coding it "in my
> own words".

Sure. As I understand it, the issue is
1) You might unintentionally remember more that you write. Then this
"new" code would be a derived work from the original. Even if you do
write a *new* work, if the owner of the original work claim it is a
derived work - an altered copy - rather than an equivalent work using
the same concepts then the onus is on you to prove that it isn't. 
2) Patents. Bluurgh. If patented approaches are used in that code then
you are more likely to reuse them in your implementation, and thus will
need to licence those patents. This isn't an issue here.

> Why the heck am I violating a license? Why is open source open
> source if other open source projects can't learn from that?

Open source projects sometimes can. Free software projects always can.
Cygwin1.dll is an open source project - that licences the source under
GPL OR under proprietary terms. As a result of that GPL code cannot be
imported into cygwin ... so where there is a reasonable doubt that the
new code will be *new*, the GPL on the original software would be
getting violated :[. So the risk for Redhat & Chuck is:
* if Chuck ends up copying more than writing, and
* the copyright holder for the code comes forward and objects
* Chuck's contribution would have to be removed from Cygwin, as his
copyright assignment to redhat would be invalid for that code.
* Community hatred, iff Chucks contribution is considered to be a copy.
So, in my IANAL opinion, there is no reason Chuck cannot be a
contributor - as long as he doesn't read both at the same time *grin*.
Obviously Chris or someone legally empowered would have to verify this
reasoning :]. 

On the downside, I know just how easy it is to think up great ways to do
things, and find that the xyz book/article/etc I read 5 years back
described just that way, such that *in my mind* I have ended up copying
their work. 

So finally, IMO, it's up to Chuck - Chuck if you feel you wouldn't be
copying, rather creating anew something you have seen working elsewhere,
then stand up and be counted. 


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