[ros-dev] Bye bye

Wesley Parish wes.parish at paradise.net.nz
Fri Jan 20 12:05:41 CET 2006

There is a precedent - the AT&T vs UC at Berkeley case.


"Plaintiff's first argument is that Defendants have copied
the filenames and header files from 32V.  Defendants insist that
filenames and the contents of header files can be readily printed
from Plaintiff's binary code (Joint Decl. at   28.1.1.), which
Plaintiff has apparently distributed without restriction on
redistribution.  In addition, some of this code is available in
reference manuals distributed by Plaintiff. (Carson Reply Aff. at

"After reviewing the affidavits of Plaintiff's and
Defendants, experts, a great deal of uncertainty remains as to what
trade secrets Net2 might contain.  One fact does seem clear: the
header files, filenames, and function names used by Defendants are
not trade secrets.  Defendants could have printed these off of any
of the thousands of unrestricted copies of Plaintiff's binary
object code. (Kashtan Aff. at    9-11.) Moreover, the nonfunctional
elements of the code, such as comments, cannot be trade secrets
because these elements are minimal and confer no competitive
advantage on Defendants.  The copied elements that contain
instructions, such as BREAD and CPIO, might perhaps be trade
secrets, but Defendants' experts have argued persuasively that
these instructions are either in the public domain or otherwise
exempt.  As Defendants have repeatedly emphasized, much of 32V
seems to be publicly available."

"On the present record, however, it is impossible to
determine whether the overall organization of Net2 has been
disclosed.  The record itself contains little information directly
pertinent to this issue.  Moreover, the parties' submissions hint
that some of 32V's organization may already be publicly available. 
Berkeley has apparently released nonproprietary programs such as
Net1 since 1987 (Regents Am.  Opp'g Br. at 13), programs that
presumably have divulged at least some information about 32V's

In short, copy-and-paste is not the way to do things - clean-room is perfectly 
legit and there's already quite a bit of that going on in the MS Windows 
developer community anyway.

But when there's no way to get functionality without using similar code and 
similar data (such as headers) which are in the public domain it seems 
anyway, it's pointless worrying about it, let alone arguing about it.  If 
Microsoft wants developers, they have to expose their APIs and turn a blind 
eye to publication of undocumented APIs - and if that disclosure is useful to 
a competitor, well, it turns out that Microsoft's maintaining its monopoly 
rests on keeping customers worldwide horribly insecure.

There's more than one way to skin a cat, and Microsoft's limping.

Just my 0.0c - hyperinflation of course! ;)

Wesley Parish

On Fri, 20 Jan 2006 08:39, Brian wrote:
> I never stated it could not be written in another way. I stated that
> similar binary code should be expected. I guess i have to talk 'baby'.
> 2 + 2 = 4
> two plus two equals four
> I don't think i should have to talk like this to a developer, especialy to
> a developer. in theory, it could be done using diferent instructions, and
> use diferent regesters, but what would be the point. if it was not copied,
> but he personaly wrote this code. I am not trying to say it cant be written
> another way, im just saying dont point the finger at the victom, just
> because he was in the same room as the murderer.
> brian

Clinersterton beademung, with all of love - RIP James Blish
Mau e ki, he aha te mea nui?
You ask, what is the most important thing?
Maku e ki, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
I reply, it is people, it is people, it is people.

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