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From Geir Magnusson Jr. <>
Subject Re: Request for Comment : Harmony Contribution Policy
Date Tue, 02 Aug 2005 06:12:43 GMT

On Aug 1, 2005, at 6:02 PM, Roy T. Fielding wrote:

> 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.

Agreed, but that's not what we're worried about - we're worried about  
those that have worked on things that weren't as you describe above.   
There aren't many of them, but they are interested in us, and we in  

> I doubt that there is anything in J2SE/EE that still
> qualifies as a trade secret, since the JCP has revealed all of the
> interfaces.

I think there probably is in implementations.  There certainly is the  
possibility for things like the VMs where there are implementations  
out there that haven't been publicly exposed as source.

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

Yep, for anything that is as you said under a non-NDA source code  
license, in a book, posted to a website, etc...


> ....Roy
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Geir Magnusson Jr                                  +1-203-665-6437

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