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License issues....

From: Andrew Ayers <aayers(at)eldocomp(dot)com>
To: "pgsql-odbc(at)postgresql(dot)org" <pgsql-odbc(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: License issues....
Date: 2004-07-19 17:54:29
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-odbc
First off, I want to appologize about the likely "disjointedness" about 
this post. I read an earlier about licenses, deleted it, then realized I 
wanted to respond to it.

Anyhow, the post was about converting a license that was referenced in 
several areas to the PGDG (IIRC?). Someone responded, said they thought 
it would be OK, and could be done without causing any problems.

This needs further thought and action (if it isn't already implemented?) 
- a way to legally track licensing, etc - something that could be 
presented in a legal challenge and be legal (IANAL). In the ongoing 
litigation revolving around Linux and SCO - one of the great challenges 
is going to be identifying who owned what and who gave permission on 
distribution, etc. It leads to thorny issues.

These same issues could come to plague the ODBC driver, perhaps even 
PostgreSQL - should any future legal challenges to the legitimacy of the 
source code ever occur. It would be nice to be prepared now, rather than 
scramble when (not if) the s--t hits the fan. The greatest problem is 
the sheer scope of the task, and the dedication it would take. The 
effort could even slow or stop development work. The alternative of a 
"wait-and-see" attitude could lead to worse...

I can foresee a few steps that would be needed for such a project, 
though I am sure each can be expanded into several in its own right, and 
that there are likely a lot more I am missing or unaware of that would 
be needed:

1. Full code audit (of current and historical copies) of who contributed 
what and when, and under what license.

2. Historical document audit of emails and other conversational 
exchanges between contributor and project managers/leads to help further 
establish legitimacy.

3. Re-establishment (as possible) and re-confirmation of contributors of 
their past intent, possibly with signed and notarized (?) statements 
archived in triplicate across three geographically distinct locations.

I am offerring this email as a means to open discussion on this topic. 
It is something not all open source projects (in fact, I would bet very 
few) think about, much less implement. Many who create and/or implement 
open source projects have ideals where they believe contributors will be 
fair and honest. In a just and truthful world, such ideals would 
probably hold, and none of this would be necessary - we could continue 
to code and build.

However, we live in a hostile and malevolent society that worships god 
money; the members of which seemingly will do anything to bring an end 
to the development of open source projects, by any means necessary. We 
are witnessing it with Linux, today. Regardless of whether that case is 
won or lost, similar litigation in the future *will* be attempted. Which 
major open source project will be next on the chopping block, and will 
that project have the documentation to defend themselves with?

Andrew Ayers
Phoenix, Arizona


Note - the views and thoughts described above are my own, and do not 
reflect those of my employer, or any of its subsidiaries or clients.



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Next:From: Peter EisentrautDate: 2004-07-19 19:17:15
Subject: Re: psqlODBC LGPL Licence
Previous:From: Bruce MomjianDate: 2004-07-19 16:53:29
Subject: Re: Protocol versions

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