Subject: Re: JBoss aquired by Red Hat
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 23:48:59 +0900

>>>>> "simo" == simo  <s@ssimo.org> writes:

    simo> And that is exactly what happens, if you dear to read my
    simo> comments in full you will find out that I stated more than
    simo> once that the Customer receives the software under the GPL.

Tom's point, however, is that Consultant also has GPL obligations if
he received a distribution of the original work.  Those obligations
apply to distributions of his code to 3rd parties other than Customer.

This is precisely why the GPL insists that you are obligated to third
parties, as well as your Customer, in the case of binary-only
distributions.

So Tom's point is, if Consultant delivers code, in violation of his
NDA, to a third party, and the third party delivers that code to a
fourth party, does either the third party or the fourth party "receive
a distribution" in the sense relevant to Consultant's GPL obligations
to his upstream, or not?  Tom says yes, I say no.

    simo> The only way for Customer(B) to stop distribution of
    simo> [illegally propagated] code would be to, forehand, buy the
    simo> code copyrights out form Consultant(A) and never distribute
    simo> the combined work under the GPL but keep the modified code
    simo> internally.

The facts are otherwise.  Trade secrets are a form of intellectual
property protected under U.S. law, and objects or documents embodying
trade secrets can be taken away from you unless you received them with
the owner's permission.  It's not as open and shut as in copyright
law, but it is an available remedy in some cases.


-- 
Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba
http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp/        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory