On Mon, Apr 09, 2007 at 02:41:16PM -0400, Zach wrote:
> On 4/9/07, Dave Ahn <ahn at orion.netrek.org> wrote:
> > If you are doing a clean-room implementation of a new Netrek client, the
> > recommendations I have, which are strong ones, are to 1) publish your
> > source under a real open source license, such as GPL or BSD, and your
> > documentation under a real open document license; and, 2) properly
> > attribute the basis of your work.
> > Good luck, and welcome to the list.
> I thought if a client is written from scratch then it is under no
> prior license restrictions. They can use whatever license they want
> right? Cliff plans on using the BSD license I think.

Writing from scratch is an unusal description for a protocol that I do
not believe to be well documented. :-)

I suggest that Dave is speaking about offering credit to the original
authors of any works that are used as a reference for re-implementation.
Even if not legally required, it is a gesture of goodwill that would
avoid people being upset, such as Trent on a similar issue.

In terms of legality, it is grey. If I could prove in a court of law
that your code was originally mine, it doesn't matter if you change
the names of a few variables, or changing the indentation. This came
up with the recent SCO claims to UNIX, and therefore Linux. In a true
clean-room implementation, the coders would preferably have never seen
the code they are re-implementing. If I can prove that my coders have
never even looked at the software, than any similarities could be more
easily written off as coincidence, or common programmer methodologies
or patterns.

For Netrek, I doubt that you could write a Netrek client without using
another implementation as a reference. It might be re-architected, but
the content will be the same.


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