[squeak-dev] Re: [ANN] Kernel methods license audit

Paolo Bonzini bonzini at gnu.org
Thu Mar 20 18:04:35 UTC 2008

> he wrote the new code that probably has the same content as the
> original one.  [...]
> we simply have to trust people that they will not cheat. And they should
> be ready to sign it.

Of course.  But the bigger problem is the first.

In the case of accessors, for example, the original contributor could 
have contributed a single change to add those accessors, or these 
methods could be part of a bigger change.  The first case probably is 
not even copyrightable; in the second the overall changeset is 
copyrightable, and I wonder if a judge would be convinced  if they were 
shown the exact same source code up to the MD5 checksum.

After all saying "a method that returns instance variable foo" is not 
different from saying "a method that does ^foo".  It is not talking 
about an idea, the idea *is* the implementation (all this of course 
holds because the "first team" does see the source code, it does not 
apply if there was English documentation that the "second team" could 
directly look at).

In both cases, it looks like chasing windmills; you should get clear 
advice if it isn't better to just leave these simple methods aside, with 
attribution to the original author.


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