Subject: Re: Sun draft of Jini source license
From: shap@eros.cis.upenn.edu
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 10:28:14 -0400

> On Tue, 22 Sep 1998, Frank Hecker wrote:
> > * "Modifications" is defined so as apparently to include even code which
> > is developed in a clean-room environment using the Jini specs (which
> > would seem to preclude anyone creating a GPLed Jini clone).
> 
> Fortunately, copyright law does not currently allow them to prohibit this.
> 
> Kragen

The issue of copyright does not apply.  If you agree to the license,
you have agreed to the definition of ``modifications.''  The situation
is then one in which you have given up your right to perform certain
actions permitted under copyright.  Sun's legal case in this
circumstance is not based on copyright violation, it's based on breach
of contract.

This begs the question of whether such a provision is actually
enforcable.

If the Jini specs are ever published in such a way as to be accessable
without first signing this license, the prohibition would not apply.
It is hard to imagine an ``open'' specification of any sort that can
successfully go unpublished.

Finally, note that Jini doesn't preclude clean-room replication.  One
person can read the specs and write requirements while another party
who is not a signatory re-implements the code.



shap