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

From: Rjack
Subject: Re: reinvent (for GPL) code u wrote for employer who owns it?
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 07:32:24 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090302)

Barry Margolin wrote:
In article <>, Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:

Barry Margolin wrote: [...]
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.

"One way to avoid infringement when writing a program that is similar to another program is through the use of a “clean room” 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.

Isn't this the exact same clean-room description I responded to earlier in the thread?

Are you all suggesting that the programmer should hire a team, describe his original program to them, and then have them write the new one? So the original programmer is effectively "team 1",
 and he hires a "team 2" to rewrite the program for him?

Copyright infringement is a legal concept. Sometimes there are no
easy ways to accomplish a goal. So... The person who authored the
original code and that wishes to create the same functionality in
new non-infringing code should look to the legal concepts underlying
legal infringement analysis.

1) Study the principles underlying the
abstraction-filtration-comparison test used by the courts to
answer infringement questions.

This is an excellent decision to read to learn how infringement
is judged.

If you're turned off because you're a programmer and not
a lawyer then -- too bad. Questions of copyright infringement are
first and foremost, legal questions. You need to know what
constitutes illegal copyright infringement so that you can use your
programming skills to avoid it.

2) Google for techniques used in code obsfucation. Never repeat
comments to the original code. Change variable and function names.
Change all "for" loops into equivalent "while" loops. Implement
integer variables as "floats", etc., etc., etc.

3) Face the fact that lawyers in this World are as inevitable as
death and taxes -- just more unpleasant to deal with.

Rjack :)

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