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Subject Re: [math] matters of copyright
Date Thu, 05 Jun 2003 20:12:18 GMT
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.


robert burrell donkin <>
06/05/2003 03:55 PM
Please respond to "Jakarta Commons Developers List"
        To:     "Jakarta Commons Developers List" 
        Subject:        Re: [math] matters of copyright

On Wednesday, June 4, 2003, at 01:26 AM, Phil Steitz wrote:
> robert burrell donkin wrote:


>> 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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