Where do I begin?

John D. Gwinner gwinner at northnet.org
Sun Mar 8 07:43:49 PST 1998


>If you ship your code over the internet to every pimply-faced Finnish
>death-metal hacker wannabee that asks for it, you don't get to cry
>"trade secret".

The issue isn't Kaffe, it's the Sun code.  I don't think Sun has shipped
there code "all over".  They demaned over six digits to send it to me.  If I
had that kind of money, I'd retire.

> Substantial steps to protect information are required
>in order to claim proprietary rights under U.S. law.

Exactly.  Read on ..

> If you don't
>intend to compete with Sun, then your risk of a frivolous lawsuit is
>roughly nil, since it would gain them nothing.

Dead wrong ... to keep intellectual property (copyright, patent, or trade
secret) rights, you've got to enforce them.  The lawyers would tell Sun that
they >>have<< to go after Kaffe.

Thinking the way you are is deadly, it's a sure fired way to get slammed
HARD.  I don't want to see that happen to Kaffe.

>have a realistic risk of lawsuit.  And the only way to even *appear*
>to violate Sun's copyright is to incorporate code which is
>substantially identical to Sun's actual code into source which is
>distributed under terms not allowed by Sun's license.  The probability
>of this occurring without *actual* violation of Sun's copyright is not
>sufficiently different from zero to cut off one's right and left hands
>to avoid it.

Not strictly true.  How many different ways are there to do some things?
I'm certain, without having looked at the Sun code, that Kaffe would
virtually duplicate some areas of the VM.  Most might be very different, of
course, but there are only so many efficient algorithms to do some things.

>I prefer not to confuse the real issues, however, with
>grandstanding irrelevancies.

What's calling someone Humpty-Dumpty?  Relevant? 8-D

        == John ==

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