[Development] [Increasingly OT] Re: Qt 4.8.6 Release Plans

Konrad Rosenbaum konrad at silmor.de
Mon Nov 4 19:11:18 CET 2013


IANAL, or: this is the increasingly hypothetical mail thread in which two 
blind men discuss whether black or red robes look better on judges. :-)

On Monday 04 November 2013 16:52:36 Oswald Buddenhagen wrote:
> well, he can sue us.
> and then we sue his arse off for frivolous complaining, and he'll pay
> the bills.

Well, this hypothetical he would pay the bills ten years later after costing 
millions of dollars (euros, pounds, take your pick). That is if any money is 
left, he'd pay it. Theoretically.

I'm reminded of SCO, whenever I hear righteous arguments like these... they 
held up three courts and half a dozen companies for ten years, not a dime left 
for restitution.

> you don't need to be afraid of such stuff if you have the financial
> backing.

You mean, if you are Google, Novell, or IBM. Right?

> also, no sane judge would issue an injunction because of a three-liner,
> so the risk of noteworthy disruption is practically zero.

Enter Oracle vs. Android: if memory serves correctly, the final discussion was 
about nine lines of code among several million lines. Google was lucky: the 
judge had learned how to code before he decided on judgement and came to the 
conclusion that he could write those 9 lines himself without special training. 
And I think he was quite upset that a few thousand times as many lines of 
legal documents were produced to prove that, while he had more important cases 
pending (serious crime).

> also, these considerations are completely hypothetical anyway. 

In a way: correct, he'll probably be a nice guy. 

In another way: law is a matter of principle. Unfortunately the principle is 
not clear to the layman most of the time.

Worth a read: http://qt-project.org/legal.html#practices

> we are
> talking about some oss guy who'd most probably be quite happy to see his
> patches taken in (how about asking?), 

Absofragginlutely correct! How about asking him to submit it to Gerrit?
Once it is there (even if it is on the wrong branch): he has signed the 
Contributors Agreement and put the patch under it. Now you can change the 
patch to your heart's content.

> and even for bigger stuff we could
> just do that if the license was ok (on the site it seems to be CC-BY 2.5
> by default - i have no clue whether that would be ok). most of the
> patches appear to be cherry-picks anyway.

I'm not sure whether any CC license is compatible enough. You'd have to ask a 
lawyer. (Ooops.)

Even though the license of the text on a site says absolutely nothing about 
the code hosted on that side.

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