Locked in the clean-room

Alistair Crooks azcb0 at juno.uts.amdahl.com
Mon Apr 14 02:39:18 PDT 1997

> > Does anyone have any legal advice or experience of operating and 
> > developing software in a clean-room?  I ask because there have been a 
> > number of instances lately where people want to donate code to Kaffe 
> > but they have already signed the Sun source license, usually for JDK 1.0.2
> > though not for JDK 1.1.
> > 
> You may want to look at the lawsuit AT&T/Berkeley a couple of years ago.
> CSRG has always had the Unix source code available, but they did continously
> rewrite parts of the unix kernel and made the code available for everyone.
> AT&T (their lawyers anyway :-) said that because CSRG had the AT&T sources
> available, the Berkeley code was based on AT&T sources. 
> AT&T lost in court. Here are at least an american example of this.
> The lawsuit was much more complicated than this, but the big 
> point is the same.

Like Ragge says, it's more complicated than this, but the conclusion
given above is wrong. AT&T didn't lose in court, they settled the case
outside of court, so it's still a grey area - especially given the fact
that BSDi and the *BSD groups agreed to re-write 8 critical files as
part of the settlement reached.

In general, I (personally) would be very wary of including code by
someone tainted by the 1.0.2 JDK. And I write as someone tainted by the
1.0.2 JDK.


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