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RE: Sun's JRL and source: taints or not?

From: Mark Wielaard
Subject: RE: Sun's JRL and source: taints or not?
Date: Thu, 05 May 2005 11:00:09 +0200


On Thu, 2005-05-05 at 14:41 +1000, David Holmes wrote:
> Thanks for the very detailed response. You raise some very interesting
> points. Sun seems to be pushing this "no taint" aspect of the JRL to
> encourage more people to contribute to Mustang development:
> "And for developers that ask, "Does looking at source code under the JRL
> taint me?", the answer is "No!" See the JRL FAQ #18 for more details."
> Of course that author may be relying on the FAQ being correct.

I just wanted to confirm Dalibor his analysis. I haven't had any
requests from someone having accepted and signed one of these "new"
SCSL-like shared-source contracts with Sun to get access to the sources
of their implementation. If I get one I will certainly ask FSF legal how
to deal with that particular case and how/if we can accept code from
such a person for GNU Classpath. But FSF legal has indeed cautioned us
about precisely the same things as Larry Rosen warns about. Studying
other proprietary implementations while working on similar functionality
for GNU Classpath should be avoided. We don't want to be in a difficult
legal situation if there ever will be a case around GNU Classpath and
"substantial similarities" between our code and some other code. To make
any such potential legal case cristal clear from our side the advise is
to never look at the source code of any other proprietary

More clarifications and guidelines can be found in the developer wiki:

A quick look at this JRL confirms that the wording is a bit sloppy. The
legal wording might indeed not match the explanation of that FAQ. Or at
least the legal implications might be much more subtle then that FAQ
entry makes it out. As always make sure to contact me before accepting
such an legal agreement when intending to work on GNU Classpath. If you
have to then we will work with FSF legal to clear any of the legal



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