Posted Nov 17, 2003 20:15 UTC (Mon) by Ross
Parent article: JBoss Group goes for indemnification
My opinion of the JBoss group just dropped down several notches.
1) There is no such thing as industry standard indemnification.
The only people saying this have been SCO and their lackeys. This seems
like another case of cashing in on the pain caused by SCO. Yes, Sun
also dropped down several notches earlier this year with their SCO
funding, press release, and indemnification garbage.
If companies are really worried about this buy insurance. I'm sure some
insurance company is willing to offer coverage for innocent copyright and
patent infringement. You don't have to wait for the software producer to
offer indemnification. Isn't insurance really the standard way to cap
2) Copyright and patent worries are not unique to open source projects.
Really. Why aren't people demanding indemnification from SCO with their
licenses? Why does almost every company disclaim all warranties and all
3) End users are not liable for innocent infringement for mere use.
Think about it. If you bought a book and read it and it contained
plagiarized passages would you or the author be liable? Does copyright
even cover the ability to own a copy or to read it? I think the answers
are "the author" and "no" respectively. But of course I'm not a lawyer.
If someone knows otherwise please correct me.
Patents are a little different because they do cover use. But again
think of a real-world example, not a SCO-twisted-reality example. If
you bought a toaster which infringed on a patent would you be liable
for owning or using it? Again, I think the answer is "no" but I'm not
I'm also not too impressed with JBoss' copyright infringement claims
against Apache recently since, if I remember correctly, it turned out most
of the problems were because JBoss used their code and accidentally removed
some copyright attributions.
How much of this legal strangulation can the software industry take?
Of course IANAL and maybe an IP lawyer would be able to explain why it
makes sense. Of course an IP lawyer also makes money on messes like this.
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