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Re: reinvent (for GPL) code u wrote for employer who owns it?

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: reinvent (for GPL) code u wrote for employer who owns it?
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2009 21:31:59 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b3 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article <>,
 Rjack <> wrote:

> Barry Margolin wrote:
> > In article <>, Alexander Terekhov
> > <> wrote:
> > 
> >> Rjack wrote:
> >>> Barry Margolin wrote:
> >>>> In article <>, 
> >>>> (Name withheld by request) wrote:
> >>>> 
> >>>>> How might one ethically/legally re-write a suite of
> >>>>> scripts one wrote for a former employer, so that the new
> >>>>> code may be shared under GPL?
> >>>> IANAL, but I think this is likely to be difficult.  You
> >>>> have to ensure that your new code looks nothing like the
> >>>> old code.
> >>
> >> 
> >> "One way to avoid infringement when writing a program that is
> >> similar to another program is through the use of a ³clean room²
> >> procedure. This is what was done when companies cloned the BIOS
> >> of the IBM personal computer to produce compatible systems. In
> >> a clean room procedure, there are two separate teams working on
> >> the development of the new program.
> > 
> > How can you use the clean room procedure when the original
> > programmer is writing the new program?  There are no teams,
> > there's just one guy.
> > 
> > The clean room procedure only makes sense if you're
> > reverse-engineering a program, not if you're using your own
> > memory and talents.
> > 
> Cleanroom procedures seem a little awkward when you consider that
> most open source code is so public it's used to paper bathroom walls.

But the program to be copied is NOT open source.  He wants to 
reimplement it as open source, but he has to be sure that the new 
version doesn't contain any vestiges of the original one that he wrote 
as a work for hire.

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
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