[lsb-discuss] LSB conf call notes for 2008-07-30
R P Herrold
herrold at owlriver.com
Mon Aug 11 13:49:14 PDT 2008
On Mon, 11 Aug 2008, Theodore Tso wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 07:10:04PM +0100, Alan Cox wrote:
>>> Tso earlier asked:
>>> Under the circumstanes where a liticant might sue Sun,
>>> they can also sue CentOS directly. If you're not prepared
>>> for that eventuality,
If a distribution have not undertaken to indemnify (viz.,
under the two licenses from Sun I raised issue with), and no
other relationship giving rise to liability (say, contractual
privity) exists, the distribution need not address the issue,
beyond the 'background noise' that anyone with a filing fee
may sue anyone.
>> Cox commenting:
>> Only if CentOS is required by the LSB spec to ship a TCK
>> verified trademark Java product. At which point the
>> producers of the LSB may also have some additional
>> liabilities - so it isn't in their interest either really
>> is it ?
* nod * risk identification and control for the LSB, and for
the 'distributions' is my concern.
> Tso again:
> Even if we don't require a TCK verified Java product, to the
> extent that Fedora is shipping any kind of Java VM, they are
> open to that exposure.
* hunh * I do not purport to speak for Fedora. As you 'cc'd
me directly, I take it you are asking about only the Trademark
issue. Identical behaviours written to a observed or
published specification, or reverse engineered from a
clean-room project, or however, were long ago judicially found
non-actionable (under copyright) in the Leading Edge 'Asa'
case; don't use the trademark; address (in FOSS, write around)
any patents which crop up. [This is fast and rough --
citation omitted, and not at issue here anyway]
Putting that to one side, the (LSB mandated, if adopted)
undertaking of the indemnification clause, and the exposure to
the NDA issue, each for TCK issues both drop out; so does a
third-party (non-Sun) claim for shipping a Sun 'vetted'
CentOS can and already _does_ control the content it rebuilds
from avaiable sources to a limited subset of what our
upstream ships in its binary product, based in part on
carrying a FOSS recognized license. We exercise much care on
trademark matters, owing to some unhappy threats in the
project's early history.
> Heck, if they shippe Kaffe and gcj they are open to a
> certain amount of risk. And of course, someone could sue a
> distribution if Linux doesn't work correctly, or if a contributor
> sneaks a back door into emacs, or vi, or gcc, or any one of the
> thousands of packages that compose a Linux distribution.
> I ask again --- what makes Java special?
I take this to ask: What is the difference between 'Java' (the
asserted Sun trademark), v. a java-like set behaviours in a
I covered this last week, and Alan raises the issue squarely.
> Cox, again:
> As I keep pointing out if the LSB does not require a TCK
> verified java(tm) product then the problem goes away for the
> most part. If Sun say they wont try and go after anyone for
> /usr/bin/java being a compatible alternative product that
> goes away too
The difference is that for the first, one needs to proceed
through a Sun license agreement containing indemnification and
side clauses asserting no cap on asserted liability when
'intellectual property' matters are at issue. Additional
issues may apply to re-distributing the Sun product as
outlined. The second path does not have _those_ pitfalls.
-- Russ herrold
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