How not to handle a licensing violation
Posted Apr 12, 2007 4:30 UTC (Thu) by rickmoen
In reply to: How not to handle a licensing violation
Parent article: How not to handle a licensing violation
Initially, upon seeing this donnybrook (or at least, the portion of it that was on various mailing lists), I was mystified about what sequence of events could possibly allow the described outcome to occur through a "mistake". I was actually tempted to find some maximally diplomatic way of asking "Excuse me, but I honestly am curious about how someone else's code can be copied into one's own by accident, and hope someone wouldn't mind describing the scenario that Marcus says applied in this case, or at least one that could occur. Thanks."
I'm pretty sure I've figured it out: Marcus was temporarily using Michael et al.'s code in what was supposed to be a private development instance of bcw, while figuring out how to reimplement bcm43xx's algorithms independently. (To answer ajross's question, no, that would not necessarily cause the resulting driver to remain permanently a derivative work of bcm43xx. "Derivative work" is a legal term of art from copyright law, and can be loosely described as a work reusing a substantive amount of the copyright-eligible expressive elements of the original. Please see "Derivative Works" and related entries in my knowledgebase.) Private reuse does not infringe copyright. Marcus no doubt intended to ensure that all substantive traces of bcm43xx were expunged from his local copy, before checking it into CVS, and failed to do so.
So, the protestations of "mistake" actually are credible.
to post comments)