need advise with new open-source project

Jim White jim at
Tue Mar 14 00:57:38 CST 2006

Please note:

Nuno Lopes wrote:

> I'm currently trying to start a new open-source project that will do
> the same as WINE did with the windows API, but for a Sony framework,
> named OPEN-R.
> ...
> I would love if you could answer my questions, so that I can make the
> project public as soon as possible.

Your questions are quite involved and many do not have clear cut 
answers.  And while there are some similarities between your project's 
issues and WINE's, there are some key legal differences, including 
particularly legal decisions regarding Microsoft's monopoly.

Another similar situation existed with LEGO Mindstorms.  While initial 
community developments were technically in violation of some terms of 
the EULA (which may or may not be enforceable in some jurisdictions) the 
key was LEGO's reaction.  Rather than pursuing legal action against the 
community developers, they decided instead to embrace them and provide 
tacit and subsequently explicit support.

If Sony were to pursue legal action against you, whether your activities 
are legal or not is only secondary as the cost of defense is bound to be 
prohibitive.  Perhaps you can use LEGO's example to help persuade Sony 
to release the software (with no support of course) using a suitable 
open source license (ideally GPL of course).

In addition to looking to the LEGO community for ideas, you might find 
some help at OSI and EFF.

Good luck!

Jim White

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