Subject: Re: JBoss aquired by Red Hat
From: Russ Nelson <>
Date: Mon, 1 May 2006 15:55:10 -0400

Thomas Lord writes:
 > Russ Nelson wrote:
 > > Thomas Lord writes:
 > >  > A trade secret remains a trade secret only as long as no proper
 > >  > disclosure has taken place (and while the secret's owner is taking
 > >  > reasonable steps to protect the secret).     So, if *Customer*
 > >  > redistributes the software, he must *also* then release Consultant
 > >  > from the NDA.
 > >
 > > Every NDA I've ever signed has had a clause saying "If this
 > > information becomes public through no fault of your own, you are
 > > released from this obligation."
 > >   
 > I'm sorry, I just don't understand how your comment is responsive.   Can
 > you explain?

Assuming a sane NDA, the Customer need take no action to release
Consultant from the NDA.  The act of distribution simultaneously
releases the Consultant from the NDA, and so is not a restriction.

Essentially, you're arguing that if somebody screws up, that creates
trouble for them under the terms of the GPL.  WELL DUH!  As the doctor
said ... "If it hurts when you do that, DON'T DO THAT."

If the Consultant distributes code to a Third Party and a Customer
with whom he has executed an NDA such that the code is covered by the
NDA, the Consultant has screwed up.  He should have said "This code
is public information and is not covered by the NDA".  If he sold the
code to the customer under an NDA, he shouldn't have distributed it to
a Third Party.

Every branch of your concern ends up with "and X screwed up and hurt
himself."  I don't argue that people don't make mistakes.  I argue
that you are wrong to say that because X might make a mistake, some
other party or agreement should be different.  Sorry, we're all adults
here.  You screw up and hurt yourself, well, it's a learning

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