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From robert burrell donkin <>
Subject Re: [math] matters of copyright
Date Thu, 05 Jun 2003 20:32:36 GMT
and helpful you have been :)

the ASF has lawyers which can answer questions of legality but they can 
only be asked if we're alerted to potential issues. what's needed is for 
vigilance amongst the community.

- robert

On Thursday, June 5, 2003, at 09:12 PM, wrote:

> I am NOT, I repeat, NOT knowledgeable at all about existing
> implementations of maths algorithms (or algorithms in most other domains,
> for that matter). Nor am I a lawyer. I'm just a developer w/ a certain
> degree (how small a degree is not certain) of understanding of copyright
> and software licensing issues who piped up earlier to try to be helpful.
> Dave
> robert burrell donkin <>
> 06/05/2003 03:55 PM
> Please respond to "Jakarta Commons Developers List"
>         To:     "Jakarta Commons Developers List"
> <>
>         cc:
>         Subject:        Re: [math] matters of copyright
> On Wednesday, June 4, 2003, at 01:26 AM, Phil Steitz wrote:
>> robert burrell donkin wrote:
> <snip>
>>> the second is that we're going to need to audit our implementations
>>> against copyrighted ones. (i'm hoping that some better qualified folks
>>> might volunteer for this.) if we find any that are too similar, then we
>>> should use apache development resources to create fresh clean room
>>> implementations.
>> I don't understand exactly what you mean here.  It might be difficult to
>> find people with the combined legal and math skills to "audit" the code
>> for copyright infringement. What did you have in mind here?
> i'm not sure that legal skills are actually necessary. i have a couple of
> reasons for this:
> 1. once we've worked out collectively what we think is right, one of the
> committers will contact the ASF legal team and ask them to check that what
> we intend to do will offer sufficient protection to everyone.
> 2. it's not possible to have absolute protection against litigation on the
> wide world of the world wide web (are there any lawyers who know the law
> in every jurisdiction?). usually, acting responsibly and with due care is
> usually good enough.
> what i had in mind was people with knowledge of existing algorithms (like
> Al Chou and David Neuer) keeping an eye on the source and alerting us to
> anything that seems too similar to existing implementations. IMHO what
> would be ideal would be for volunteers to check our implementations
> against the most common copyrighted implementations to make sure they are
> not strikingly similar.
> - robert
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