[Mono-list] FW: [Ocl-general] Questions about OCL

Michael Poole poole@troilus.org
07 Sep 2001 09:15:28 -0400

"Bob Salita" <bsalita@hotmail.com> writes:

> > > So does this mean I can sue anyone who uses reflection on my
> > assemblies? Can
> > > I sue Microsoft for creating "reverse engineering" software that
> > > views/reads/resolves/loads assemblies in memory?
> > >
> > > If I create a list of undocumented calls can Microsoft sue me?
> >Bob, the issue at hand is to play as safely as possible.
> >
> >If there is any doubt about something being even remotely legally
> >troublesome, we should stay clear of it.
> Please explain how the mono project does not fall under the catagory
> of "even remotely legally troublesome"? By your logic the mono project
> should never have been started. This thread is crying out for accurate
> legal opinion and all I see is hacker logic.

Please don't FUD (or encourage it in others, such as Microsoft).

"Troublesome" of any sort should only be applied when the trouble has
been specifically identified.  If someone knows particular patent
claims that Microsoft has on aspects of Mono's (current or planned)
implementation of .NET, or particular copyright issues, then they can
be considered and avoided.

The thing that I think Miguel didn't mention is the concept of
"derivative work."  I doubt there is a legally precise definition of a
derivative work, but I will guarantee you that if you algorithmically
transform one thing (Microsoft .NET DLLs or XML files) into something
else (C# skeleton files), the something else will be considered a
derivative work.  In that case, use and distribution of the derivative
work must be compatible with the copyright and license you (where
"you" is the creator of the derivative work) obtained from the
original work's owner (Microsoft).

A traditional part of software licenses is that the user cannot create
derivative works.  While Microsoft may overlook minor infringements of
this, they probably will *not* overlook anything that competes with
them or might erode their market share (such as Mono).

(Note: I'm also a hacker, not a lawyer.)

-- Michael Poole