[Mono-list] Viewing Shared Source CLI
Thu, 28 Mar 2002 15:02:00 -0800 (PST)
Literally, that is, of course, what the license says. I think this
is still a risky proposition because of the statement about "copyrights".
And if there are patents, there is a good chance that they are implemented
in the reference implementation and that you are running a much bigger
risk of creating someting infringing by looking at the reference
implementation than if you just coded by yourself.
If Microsoft had truly wanted to create a reference implementation,
they could have just distributed the code under a free license.
Microsoft distributes enormous amounts of intellectual property that
way, for example, almost complete books that publishers then edit
slightly and reprint under their own titles. The fact that they
aren't distributing this implementation that way make me worry that
more may be going on.
Another issue is that if there are things that are unclear in the
ECMA spec, they deserve to be written down separately and addressed
An approach that seems to work well in practice (I think already suggested
here) is to have two people, one writing the free implementation, the other
reading the proprietary source code, communicating in a well-documented
Anyway, just my $0.02 based on having been involved in a related effort
--- Robert Isaacs <RIsaacs@ConnectWise.com> wrote:
> See this response from Eben Moglen, the legal counsel for the FSF, to Rhys
> (of dotgnu) regarding looking at the rotor source code. It seems to be
> *legally* permissable as long as there are no direct copies of the work:
> Hi Rhys,
> The key provision in the license is:
> 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 is pretty clear (they're becoming rather good at drafting "shared
> source" licenses; ...
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