Microsoft source code releases - a danger to Wine?
ps at leissner.se
Sun Jul 22 04:05:46 CDT 2001
> On Sat, 21 Jul 2001, Ian Pilcher wrote:
> > This leads me to wonder if anyone's ever thought of taking steps to
> > protect Wine from "contamination" by Microsoft IP (legally,
> not tech-
> > nically :-).
> What can we do about that? Since none of the people involved
> is going to
> have a look at the actual M$ source, how are we supposed to know if a
> patch posted on the list is taken from them?
We can't and we don't have to. The burden of proof is on Microsoft.
Of course it is a civil cases and the proof need only be on
preponderence of evidence but it still their burden primarily.
> Worse yet: If we coincidentally use similar code to theirs, how can we
> prove we haven't looked at their code? If I were paranoid, I'd say the
> single purpose of releasing the source was to get wine in trouble.
First of all: We know who submitted a patch since that information
is in the CVS log, so unless they can prove that Alexandre should have
realized the person submitting the patch, submitted code not copyrighted
by that person, the burden fall on that person and that person alone.
If that person can't be identified through the e-mail adress to bad for
Microsoft. If he can they will have to drag him to court, not the Wine
Sure Microsoft probably can ask the Wine remove the offending code
and sue us if we don't, but since we in fact also are a victim of
the submitters misrepresentation I think any reasonable judge would:
1. Require that Microsoft prove that the code is theirs.
This might be a little difficult without providing the
actual code to the Wine project and requiring any developer
of the Wine project to taint him self by signing a NDA with
Microsoft would probably not required by the court.
So the reasonable cause of action would for Microsoft to
release the code without a license that could taint us or
pay for an independent 3rd party to review and establish this.
2. Require that Microsoft provide a patch to remove the offending
code from the current CVS. Note that we also are a victim so
requiring more would probably be considered unreasonable.
Why should we pay for (in money or effort) somebody elses
crime or legal liabillity against Microsoft.
All in all I think the Judge would be rather annoyed that
Microsoft didn't try to solve this problem without him.
In short, while IANAL, if Microsoft (or somebody) feels that some
code in the CVS is copyrighted by them we should simple require that.
1. Prove it to us, without any risk of taint, or to some independent
3rd party at their expense.
2. Provide a patch against the current CVS that removes the offending
code preferable made by the same 3rd party as above at their expense.
3. Require that the 3rd party sign a statement under perjury that the
patch removes the offending code and only the offending code.
Remember we are also a victim under such an event and requiring
more would probably not be look on favourable by the courts.
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