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Re: GPL traitor !


From: ZnU
Subject: Re: GPL traitor !
Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 15:29:22 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b2 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article <address@hidden>,
 Hyman Rosen <address@hidden> wrote:

> ZnU wrote:
>  > Can you really just read the source code to figure out
>  > that file format, and then go write your app?
> 
> Yes, you can, without incurring any copyright obligations from
> the existing program. The program you write, however, must not
> contain significant portions of code from the studied program,
> unless those pieces represent the only way to do something.

This sort of clean-room approach is taken when reverse engineering 
commercial products because, or so my understanding goes, if there 
happen to be similarities between your implementation and the original 
implementation, it's much harder to get nailed for copyright violation 
if you can prove you took steps so that the guys who wrote your code 
weren't the same guys who looked at the plaintiff's code.

I suspect the same issues surround GPL'd code, except that it's harder 
to prove separation was maintained.

-- 
"The game of professional investment is intolerably boring and over-exacting to
anyone who is entirely exempt from the gambling instinct; whilst he who has it
must pay to this propensity the appropriate toll." -- John Maynard Keynes


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