Contractors fired for using GPL code

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Daeron, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Daeron

    Daeron Guest

    "I *DO* know of 2 companies where this happened. Contractors from
    Russia and India were hired to do a job, and it turned out that they
    used GPL'd code.

    In one case, management fired them and had a different contractor write
    new code, in the other management chose to continue to use it after
    they were alerted to it, because they argued it was too expensive to
    rewrite."

    "I can't give you the names of the companies though, as I was under
    contract and non-disclosure, so take it with however many boulders of
    salt you like." Erik Funkenbusch Oct 26 2005

    I just *knew* you were going to invoke a NDA clause. But then again you
    *are* a pathological liar.

    http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.linux.advocacy/msg/13d73f0183acad30?hl=en&
     
    Daeron, Oct 27, 2005
    #1
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  2. Daeron wrote:
    > "I *DO* know of 2 companies where this happened. Contractors from
    > Russia and India were hired to do a job, and it turned out that they
    > used GPL'd code.



    Wouldn't surprise me. Actually I'm kinda glad this happened because (a)
    if they included GPL code into a closed source product who would know
    and (b) at least they respect the rights of the GPL enough to not want
    to rip the code off and call it theirs.
     
    Phil Da Lick!, Oct 27, 2005
    #2
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  3. Daeron

    John Bailo Guest

    Daeron wrote:

    > "I *DO* know of 2 companies where this happened. Contractors from
    > Russia and India were hired to do a job, and it turned out that they
    > used GPL'd code.


    I have several contract projects that I've delivered ( web and window
    services ) using c# that also includes both open sourced c# and gnu c code
    in a c# wrapper. The client is a worldwide leader in its field of
    entertainment and leisure activities. In fact, they've built several --
    if not many -- projects built with significant OSS components and java. We
    even trained them to use a client counterpart of the gnu component.

    --
    360 updated 10/5
    http://360.yahoo.com/manfrommars_43
     
    John Bailo, Oct 27, 2005
    #3
  4. Daeron

    Guest

    First of all, moving ANY copyrighted code into proprietary code and
    selling it as original work - not subject to the terms of the license
    is a criminal act. It's the very purpose of copyright law. A
    contractor writes code that is supposed to be original work, typically
    the contractor's employer and the client will work out exactly who has
    what intellectual property rights to what code being developed.

    In most cases, the contractor's employer will grant a nonexclusive
    unlimited use license to the code being created to the client, this
    will allow the contractor's employer to use tools and generalized
    solutions in future engagements. At the same time, the client doesn't
    have to pay royalties on a "per use" basis for code which they helped
    fund.

    In special cases, where the client feels that the code or business
    logic is highly contriversial or proprietary (possibly even illegal),
    the client will insist that this carfully declared code be made their
    exclusive property.

    In other situations, the client is simply paying for custimizations of
    the contractor's proprietary product. For example, if an Oracle
    consultant came in and wrote some custom queries for a client, the
    client would not automatically be entitled to unlimited use licenses to
    the code in question.

    Most corporations also now require that employees sign agreements which
    gives the corporation all rights to any technology created by the
    employee that relates to his particular area of employment. This
    usually includes patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.

    Many companies DO have their developers take a "certification" to make
    sure that they understand the nature of each of the major license
    types.

    Putting GPL software into the same library as Microsoft proprietary
    code and claiming that either or both are your own original work is not
    only unethical, it's illegal. You can declare that you are using GPL
    code, and work out how to isolate the GPL code from the Microsoft
    proprietary NDA code. You can determine whether it's possible to
    decouple the functionality in such a way that the proprietary code can
    call the GPL code using a service - such as CORBA or RPC, or you can
    possibly create LGPL libraries to isolate the GPL code from the LGPL
    code and isolate the LGPL libraries from the Proprietary code.

    Even these isolation tactics may not be effective in some cases. For
    example, if you use a GPL/LGPL agent or broker to connect to Oracle,
    the Oracle license covers ANY FORM of multiplexing. Simply put, even
    if you use a Web Browser, Apache, and connect using PERL, you need to
    have the proper type of license for Oracle that covers each individual
    user accessing the system, regardless of how they are identified.
    Normally, customers who want to use Oracle as a Web server will license
    9i or 10g which have a very large price tag which covers an unlimited
    number of users.

    Many companies are now basing their pricing structures on the
    capacities of the machine, the number of MIPS and Megs used. IBM for
    example has licenses for "Capacity Units" and customers are encouraged
    to decouple as much of the service as possible using Open Source and
    other decoupling techniques. This allows a customer to create a "pure
    database engine" which can run 100% of the resources being allocated,
    and the capacity is charged accordingly. The Web Server, Application
    server, and middleware are placed on separate machines, which will do
    the formating and session state management.
     
    , Oct 27, 2005
    #4
  5. Daeron

    Unruh Guest

    "Daeron" <> writes:

    >"I *DO* know of 2 companies where this happened. Contractors from
    >Russia and India were hired to do a job, and it turned out that they
    >used GPL'd code.


    >In one case, management fired them and had a different contractor write
    >new code, in the other management chose to continue to use it after
    >they were alerted to it, because they argued it was too expensive to
    >rewrite."


    >"I can't give you the names of the companies though, as I was under
    >contract and non-disclosure, so take it with however many boulders of
    >salt you like." Erik Funkenbusch Oct 26 2005


    I would not be surprized that this happened at times. HOwever, those
    companies had another option. They could have approached the copyright
    holder and requested permission to use the code in a proprietary fashion.
    The copyright holder holds the copyright and can do with the code as he
    wishes (assuming that his code was not derivative of someone else's code as
    well.) Ie, there is nothing stopping a developer both releasing the code
    under the GPL and releasing the code under more proprietary terms.
     
    Unruh, Oct 27, 2005
    #5
  6. On 27 Oct 2005 06:03:37 -0700, Daeron wrote:

    > I just *knew* you were going to invoke a NDA clause. But then again you
    > *are* a pathological liar.


    I've never done any development work for a company that didn't have an NDA.
    If you actually worked in this industry, you'd know how common that is.
     
    Erik Funkenbusch, Oct 27, 2005
    #6
  7. begin virus.txt.scr Erik Funkenbusch wrote:

    > On 27 Oct 2005 06:03:37 -0700, Daeron wrote:
    >
    >> I just *knew* you were going to invoke a NDA clause. But then again you
    >> *are* a pathological liar.

    >
    > I've never done any development work for a company that didn't have an
    > NDA. If you actually worked in this industry, you'd know how common that
    > is.


    Then you should stop making up your lies from your "experiences" in that
    industry
    You know, your credibility is actually below zero, so anything which can't
    be readily verified of your claims has to be regarded as a bald lie
    --
    It's not about, 'Where do you want to go today?' It's more like,
    'Where am I allowed to go today?'
     
    Peter Köhlmann, Oct 27, 2005
    #7
  8. Daeron

    Ian Bell Guest

    wrote:

    > First of all, moving ANY copyrighted code into proprietary code and
    > selling it as original work - not subject to the terms of the license
    > is a criminal act.


    Depends on which county you are in. In some countries it is a civil matter
    and you can sue the perpetrator for breach of copyright.

    > It's the very purpose of copyright law.


    The purpose of copyright law is to protect the copyright holder from
    infringement. Making it a crime is a means of enforcement, not the original
    purpose.

    Ian
     
    Ian Bell, Oct 27, 2005
    #8
  9. Daeron

    Guest

    Daeron wrote:
    > "I *DO* know of companies where this happened. Contractors from
    > Russia and India were hired to do a job, and it turned out that they
    > used GPL'd code.
    >
    > In one case, management fired them and had a different contractor write
    > new code, in the other management chose to continue to use it after
    > they were alerted to it, because they argued it was too expensive to
    > rewrite."
    >
    > "I can't give you the names of the companies though, as I was under
    > contract and non-disclosure, so take it with however many boulders of
    > salt you like." Erik Funkenbusch Oct 26 2005
    >
    > I just *knew* you were going to invoke a NDA clause. But then again you
    > *are* a pathological liar.
    >
    > http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.linux.advocacy/msg/13d73f0183acad30?hl=en&



    any lintard loser stupid enough to use that crap should be shot and put
    our there misery. a mercy killing.
     
    , Oct 28, 2005
    #9
  10. Daeron

    thingy Guest

    wrote:
    > First of all, moving ANY copyrighted code into proprietary code and
    > selling it as original work - not subject to the terms of the license
    > is a criminal act.


    Which countries?

    All I know of it is a civil issue.

    regards

    Thing
     
    thingy, Oct 28, 2005
    #10
  11. Daeron

    Unruh Guest

    thingy <> writes:

    > wrote:
    >> First of all, moving ANY copyrighted code into proprietary code and
    >> selling it as original work - not subject to the terms of the license
    >> is a criminal act.


    >Which countries?


    >All I know of it is a civil issue.


    In canada it is both a civil and a criminal matter (Canada having the
    theory of law that if you make everything criminally illegal, then you give
    the legal system the lattitude to prosecute when you feel it is needed--
    eg, the mischief to data law, under which it is a criminal offense to operate a
    computer in Canada.) I believe in the US, copyright violations can also be
    criminal ( a felony).
     
    Unruh, Oct 28, 2005
    #11
  12. Daeron

    Daeron Guest

    on Oct 27, 8:55 pm Erik Funkenbusch wrote:

    "I know that several companies i've worked with are afraid of GPL'd
    Software (not free software) because they're afraid of it tainting
    their proprietary software" Erik F. Oct 25

    "I *DO* know of 2 companies where this happened" Erik F.

    "In one case, management fired them and had a different contractor
    write new code, in the other management chose to continue to use it
    after
    they were alerted to it" Erik F.

    > I've never done any development work for a company
    > that didn't have an NDA. If you actually worked in this industry,
    > you'd know how common that is." Erik F.


    What in this imaginary NDA would prevent you from commenting on this.
    After all it *is* in the public domain.

    Produce any other company that *you* didn't work for that contractors
    got fired for using GPL code.

    Isn't it amazingly coincidental that only you have ever come across
    such cases.

    What's stopping you firing up DuFuS and getting him to reveal this
    knowledge to us.

    Pathetic is what I call it when you fail to address the question and
    try and distract me in another thread by dragging up the 'you tried to
    get me fired` distraction fud.

    There *is* no such companies.
    There *is* no such NDA.
    You are making the whole thing up.
    It's just generally people don't call you on it.

    All the ethics of a wharf rat .. fuddie <insert snort smiley>

    "Do you mind producing the names of these `several companies' and any
    citations as to what exactly was said in relation to the GPL?" Doug

    Answer coming soon I assume .. unless you had to sign a NDA agreement
    ;)
     
    Daeron, Oct 28, 2005
    #12
  13. On 28 Oct 2005 11:59:22 -0700, Daeron wrote:

    >> I've never done any development work for a company
    >> that didn't have an NDA. If you actually worked in this industry,
    >> you'd know how common that is." Erik F.

    >
    > What in this imaginary NDA would prevent you from commenting on this.
    > After all it *is* in the public domain.


    I would be disclosing identifiable information about the internal workings
    of a prior client. I can do this anonymously because it doesn't identify
    the client.

    Even if I wasn't under NDA, it would still be unwise to violate the trust
    placed in my by my clients. A contractor lives by his reputation.

    > Produce any other company that *you* didn't work for that contractors
    > got fired for using GPL code.


    How would I know that information? Such information would be kept quiet
    and internal.

    One could imagine that at least *SOME* of the cases listed here were
    because of management being unaware that the code being used was GPL'd, or
    what the GPL meant.

    http://gpl-violations.org/

    Also, let's look at a few others:

    http://miranda-icq.sourceforge.net/zeez-im/030718-license.html

    "According to a spokesperson for Net Media S.L., they were unaware of the
    license violations and took the site down as soon as they were informed
    about the situation."

    http://lwn.net/Articles/35080/

    "In most GPL violation cases, the real problem is that the company involved
    is unaware of its obligations under the license; GPL violations tend to be
    unintentional."

    http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS7719522768.html

    "This is not really Cisco's fault," Perens explained. "The GPL violation
    did not originate at Cisco, or Linksys. An off-shore subcontractor supplied
    Linux as part of the device."

    > Isn't it amazingly coincidental that only you have ever come across
    > such cases.


    Tim Smith has also mentioned similar experiences. Of course that doesn't
    stop you from pretending otherwise.

    > Pathetic is what I call it when you fail to address the question and
    > try and distract me in another thread by dragging up the 'you tried to
    > get me fired` distraction fud.


    Uhh.. what are you talking about?

    > There *is* no such companies.
    > There *is* no such NDA.
    > You are making the whole thing up.
    > It's just generally people don't call you on it.


    If that makes you sleep better at night, go for it.
     
    Erik Funkenbusch, Oct 29, 2005
    #13
  14. Daeron

    Unruh Guest

    "Daeron" <> writes:

    >on Oct 27, 8:55 pm Erik Funkenbusch wrote:


    >"I know that several companies i've worked with are afraid of GPL'd
    >Software (not free software) because they're afraid of it tainting
    >their proprietary software" Erik F. Oct 25


    I think they should be afraid of ANY other people's software. Anyone else's
    software would "taint" their software.
    Nothing about GPL differs from any other software license. You misuse it
    you do not have permission to use it. that is what the GPL says.
     
    Unruh, Oct 29, 2005
    #14
  15. Daeron

    Unruh Guest

    Erik Funkenbusch <> writes:


    >http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS7719522768.html


    >"This is not really Cisco's fault," Perens explained. "The GPL violation
    >did not originate at Cisco, or Linksys. An off-shore subcontractor supplied
    >Linux as part of the device."


    Lets see how this plays "The Microsoft violation did not originate at Cisco
    or Linksys. And off-shore subcontractor supplied Windows as part of the
    device." Now would anyone say that this indicated that there was something
    wrong with Microsoft or Windows?
     
    Unruh, Oct 29, 2005
    #15
  16. Unruh wrote:

    > "Daeron" <> writes:
    >
    >>on Oct 27, 8:55 pm Erik Funkenbusch wrote:

    >
    >>"I know that several companies i've worked with are afraid of GPL'd
    >>Software (not free software) because they're afraid of it tainting
    >>their proprietary software" Erik F. Oct 25

    >
    > I think they should be afraid of ANY other people's software. Anyone
    > else's software would "taint" their software.
    > Nothing about GPL differs from any other software license.


    A _LOT_ about the GPL differs from MANY other licenses. Not least that the
    GPL is not an EULA. Onlyt in our current very limited context does 'Nothing
    about GPL differs from any other software license'

    > You misuse it
    > you do not have permission to use it. that is what the GPL says.


    --
    Tom Wootten, Fresher NatSci, Trinity Hall.
    oof.trinhall.cam.ac.uk
    There was only ever one valid use for the notorious <blink> tag:
    Schrodinger's cat is <blink>not</blink> dead.
     
    Thomas Wootten, Oct 29, 2005
    #16
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