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Re: [GNUnet-developers] reuse of someone else's code

From: Krista Bennett
Subject: Re: [GNUnet-developers] reuse of someone else's code
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2003 10:52:58 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.1i

Jan Marco Alkema hath spoken thusly on Sun, Apr 27, 2003 at 02:21:52PM -0700:
> Hello Krista,
> I think we speak in a different ?wave length? about the subject of reusing
> someone else?s code.
> I look to it very strict on legal (copy right laws) and gnutella concept
> based on the Kazaa arrest. You look to it more on an ethical manner.

I look at it from both sides, actually. But it doesn't matter... I think I 
said in the past that I wasn't going to have this argument with you again!

> I haven?t an opinion on the fact that an ?end user? decompiles someone else?
> s (java) code. Good or bad I leave it to the judgment of the end user!

Fine - consider us (the developers) as the end users. No one has
complained about simple decompilation of someone else's code. What we
refuse to do is take someone else's proprietary code, which has or hasn't
been decompiled, it doesn't matter, and attempt to use that code in
GNUnet. We (not just me!) judged that it is bad. Not decompilation, which 
is trivial - it is the *use of proprietary code in GNUnet* that we object 
to, decompiled or otherwise.

> How does it work. An example
> 1)    I do a decompile of Twofish_Algorithm.class.
> 2)    I made a diff (patch) file called ?patch_jm_001.txt'. The owner of copy
> right of Patch_jm_001.txt is me --)
> 3)    The job scheduler of the end user waits until he has all the files 
> (looks
> at MD5 of jad and looks at MD5 of Twofish_Algorithm.class) from someone on
> the internet, to reassemble the new thing. patch_jm_001.txt can be retrieved
> from my server without problem, because the copy right belongs to me.
> 4)    In this stage the scheduler has all the condition to do the job. The
> scheduler looks to the script what he must do {jad ?o ?s java
> Twofish_Algorithm.class; patch < patch_jm_001.txt;
> javac}

I never said there was a problem with simply decompiling code. There IS a 
problem with including someone else's code in our source without their 
permission, patched or not. That is *both* a legal and an ethical issue.

We make no attempt to regulate what is *offered* on GNUnet - part of what
makes it work is the lack of editorial control - thus, you can offer
whatever you want for download. The legal consequences are your own for
whatever you decide to do with GNUnet. Whether or not offering unlicensed
patches to proprietary code is legal is up in the air - see the Tomb 
Raider/Nude Volleyball cases of recent interest - but whether or not you 
choose to do it is up to your own judgement. I will not offer an opinion 
on whether or not it is legal to do so (although I do happen to think it's 
stupid not to allow people to distribute patches to code they legally 
own); our argument with you has always been about the inclusion of someone 
else's code, however modified, in our source. The position on that has not 

- Krista

Krista Bennett                               address@hidden
Graduate Student
Interdepartmental Program in Linguistics
Purdue University
     "You're more important than a bowl of spaghetti!" - My mom

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