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Re: [DotGNU]Shared source CLI beta released

From: Rhys Weatherley
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Shared source CLI beta released
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 01:07:54 +1000

Robert Isaacs wrote:

> --
> You may use any information in intangible form that you remember after
> accessing the Software. However, this right does not grant you a license
> to any of Microsoft's copyrights or patents for anything you might
> create using such information.
> --
> This seems to imply that merely looking at the software and remembering
> how things work does not stop a person from working on projects like
> mono and dotgnu.

Caveat: IANAL.

It depends upon where you put the comma.  Is "intangible"
referring to the information or the use of the information?
It could be saying "only intangile uses are allowed".

As soon as you copy the "intangible use" in your head into
an implementation, you turn it into a "tangible use".  This
tangible use could be interpreted as infringing the original
Copyright, for which you explicitly don't have a license.

I'd say that it would be best to err on the side of caution.

> Am I way off base with this assessment?  Any clarification would be
> appreciated.

It would be safest to avoid looking at the code altogether,
or to closely follow the procedures in the GNU Coding
Guidelines with respect to existing code.  i.e. if you've
seen it, then make sure you use a completely different
implementation strategy in your own code.

Perhaps another way of writing that clause would be:

    If this information gets into your brain by some means,
    we agree not to perform a lobotomy on you to forcibly
    remove it from your neurons.  But you are expressly
    forbidden from allowing it to escape from your brain.




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