Subject: Re: JBoss aquired by Red Hat
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 22:12:09 +0900

>>>>> "Thomas" == Thomas Lord <> writes:

    Thomas> That is oversimplified but, even so... one issue with
    Thomas> distribution under NDA is that you are failing (in
    Thomas> multiple ways) to protect party's that receive the code.

I think you're letting your indignation get in the way of your
intelligence.  AFAICS nobody has claimed that the innocent third
parties in your scenario are not injured parties.

My claim is that protecting parties that receive the code is not the
NDA signer's problem.  He only needs to protect those parties who
receive *legal* copies of the code.  There are two parties who have
some rights to distribute the code: the NDA signer (as author) and the
customer (as GPL licensee).  The NDA signer gave up his rights.  So
any distribution must come from the customer, and the NDA signer has
done all that he must do, and all that he can do, by licensing his
code under the GPL.  I believe that this is equivalent to what Simo
and Richard are saying.

AFAIK, in your scenario, in the eyes of the law, there was (something
akin to) a theft, not a distribution, because the NDA signer has a
prior legal obligation not to distribute.  As usual in the cases of
inadvertantly receiving stolen property (ditto counterfeit money),
injured parties have no recourse except (a) their insurance companies
and (b) suing the criminal.

Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory