Subject: Re: JBoss aquired by Red Hat
From: simo <s@ssimo.org>
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 12:01:18 -0400

On Sun, 2006-04-30 at 23:48 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> >>>>> "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.

I'd say it is an "illegal" distribution. As Tom signed a contract to not
distribute the code in the first place. It does not matter what the
license of the program is, the act of distribution was contrary to a
specific contract agreement.

>     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.

Hey, you added [illegally propagated] to my text. :-)
In this case I agree. Trade secrets exist outside the US too, at least
in Europe, and I think they are more or less the same.

Anyway I think RMS summarized it well in the last statement of his last
mail.

Simo.