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From Roy T. Fielding <>
Subject Re: Request for Comment : Harmony Contribution Policy
Date Mon, 01 Aug 2005 22:02:34 GMT
On Aug 1, 2005, at 10:22 AM, Justin Erenkrantz wrote:

> Furthermore, my understanding of copyright law is that you can't be 
> tainted by 'reading' source code years ago and then writing a version 
> independently.  (In fact, the examples I've heard of are 'minutes 
> apart' is legally acceptable.)  Of course, patent infringement occurs 
> whether you've read the code or not.  FWIW, our compiler languages 
> class here at UC Irvine teaches Java internals - therefore, they'd all 
> be 'tainted' under this definition - which isn't actually the case.

I agree with Justin.  BTW, the two sides of the coin are copyright
and trade secret law.  Copyright does not apply to things that you
may have learned in the past.  Trade secret and NDA text could apply,
but only if the code has never been revealed to the public.  BigCo
cannot claim trade secrets on anything they have released under
a non-NDA source code license, published in a book, or posted to
their website.  I doubt that there is anything in J2SE/EE that still
qualifies as a trade secret, since the JCP has revealed all of the

The CLA is sufficient for all of that.  We just need to remind people
of their obligations under the CLA.


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