[Mono-list] AppServer code is posted

Pokey the Penguin pokey@linuxmail.org
13 Jan 2003 01:55:33 +0000

On Sun, 2003-01-12 at 19:10, Brian Ritchie wrote:
> Thanks for all of the "instructions" on open source.  I'm by no means a 
> veteran in the "movement", but just a hacker trying to add some value to a 
> worthwhile project.

I'm sorry if I came off as harsh. It's just I've never seen so much
Microsoft IP in a purportedly X11-licensed open source project.
Moreover, I don't think it reflects well on the efforts other members of
the project have put in. Specifically, it's your choice of name that I
disagree with. It's not fair that Mono should be associated with your
AppServer in any way.

I don't think you should try to represent this as an "open source"
issue; it's far more fundamental, and what you're doing would be no more
acceptable were you writing proprietary software.

> The Microsoft portion that you are referring to is a component of the system 
> that could be easily removed.  It could be replaced, for example, with the 
> XSP code from Mono.  I can remove it if it is causing problems...but I'm not 
> sure if it is...Here's a link from MS that says the code is free:
> http://www.asp.net/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?tabindex=1&PostID=77371
> Any legal advice is appreciated, I'm no expert on licensing issues.

There's a very good reason why the Mono developers didn't first take
sscli/Rotor and then slowly replace Microsoft code line-by-line at their
own leisure. Steven Balthazor explains these issues well in his recent
post to mono-list.

> If the graphics are an issue, they too could be replaced.  I've seen many 
> open source projects using such images, but if it is a problem...then by all 
> means, lets remove them.  Do you have links to some free images?

It's not a matter of "if". You're are redistributing the Microsoft
artwork right now and passing it off as your own. This doesn't disturb
me at all -- I've seen it all before. However, I don't think it's fair
on Mono developers for you to redistribute it under the "Mono" moniker.

> I hope "jumping to conclusions" isn't what the Mono project is all about 
> either.  It might be more useful to give fellow hackers advice and guidance 
> instead of labeling their work "rebranding".

Where does original work end and re-branding begin? I draw the line
where Microsoft artwork and source code are included byte-for-byte
without accreditation in a project that claims (in readme.txt) to be
under the X11 license.

Specifically, there are _several thousand_ lines of Microsoft code and
_141_ Microsoft graphics. You have even gone so far as to include
unmistakable gems like the Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows Media
Player logos, which opens up yet another can of legal worms. (To be
fair, the 142nd and 143rd images, although also not Brian's own work,
are Mono logos)

Copying on this scale cannot be an oversight. This is wholesale
re-duplication. Considering the lack of accreditation, it could also be
classified as plagiarism.

> I'm happy to make changes that would bring this software more in line with 
> the Mono project.  Hopefully we can discuss these changes in a more 
> constructive way in the future.

Good rule to go by: Call it Mono* the day it hits the Mono CVS servers.
Of course, I'd be rather surprised if getting your AppServer in there
from its current state is possible.