How to release a free source code?

Discussion in 'Java' started by bokiteam@ms21.hinet.net, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Hi All,

    I want to release some free source code, but not all code is done by
    me. (ex: I use some code from others into my project... )

    I think it is too complicate to check every function/routine belongs to
    whom, what should I do to avoid the copyright problem?


    Thank you very much.

    Best regards,
    Boki.
    , Apr 14, 2006
    #1
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  2. Guest

    wrote:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I want to release some free source code, but not all code is done by
    > me. (ex: I use some code from others into my project... )
    >
    > I think it is too complicate to check every function/routine belongs to
    > whom, what should I do to avoid the copyright problem?


    Checking with every author is exactly what has to be done.

    The only other option is to publish only what you wrote, with
    instructions for getting the other files and patching it all together.
    (diff files tend to be what you use for this kind of thing.)

    I know it sounds like a lot of work, but that's one of the burdens of
    sharing code.
    , Apr 14, 2006
    #2
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  3. PofN Guest

    wrote:
    > I think it is too complicate to check every function/routine belongs to
    > whom, what should I do to avoid the copyright problem?


    You have to contact each and every author, and get permission to
    release his or her copyrighted work under the desired license. Unless,
    the author has already released it under that license.

    There is no exception. If you can't reach one single author out of all
    of them, or if one single author doesn't give you permission, you can't
    release his or her source code. End of discussion.

    Next time you probably think first before you build an application by
    copy and past from a bunch of sources without keeping track of them and
    their licenses.
    PofN, Apr 14, 2006
    #3
  4. In article <>,
    The_Sage <> wrote:

    > >Reply to article by:
    > >Date written: 13 Apr 2006 18:50:41 -0700
    > >MsgID:<>

    >
    > >Hi All,

    >
    > >I want to release some free source code, but not all code is done by
    > >me. (ex: I use some code from others into my project... )


    Then you do not have the right to release the source. (Unless, of
    course, that other code was written under contract such that you _do_
    own it.)

    > >I think it is too complicate to check every function/routine belongs to
    > >whom, what should I do to avoid the copyright problem?


    You should contact every single copyright holder involved with the code,
    and get a signed blanket permission. At the least, do something like
    Elliote Rusty Harold recently did with Jaxen when he relicensed it,
    where very copyright holder had to publicly affirm that they approved
    the license change.

    > Hire the most expensive copyright lawyer you can find to defend you in court.


    You may need this anyway, but having those statements will help.
    Remember, if one of the contributors wrote some of that code on a
    university machine, or while at work, they may not be _able_ to sign
    over permission. Thus, even with written permission, you may end up on
    the wrong end of a suit.

    You have to set these things up before you start, if you do not want
    headaches later. Given that you did not, you have a headache ahead, and
    thus the best plan is trying to minimize it. Start with getting
    permission, and see if something worse happens.

    Scott

    --
    Scott Ellsworth

    Java and database consulting for the life sciences
    Scott Ellsworth, Apr 17, 2006
    #4
  5. The_Sage Guest

    >Reply to article by: Scott Ellsworth <>
    >Date written: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 14:38:52 -0700
    >MsgID:<>


    >> >I want to release some free source code, but not all code is done by
    >> >me. (ex: I use some code from others into my project... )


    >Then you do not have the right to release the source. (Unless, of
    >course, that other code was written under contract such that you _do_
    >own it.)


    >> >I think it is too complicate to check every function/routine belongs to
    >> >whom, what should I do to avoid the copyright problem?


    >You should contact every single copyright holder involved with the code,
    >and get a signed blanket permission. At the least, do something like
    >Elliote Rusty Harold recently did with Jaxen when he relicensed it,
    >where very copyright holder had to publicly affirm that they approved
    >the license change.


    >> Hire the most expensive copyright lawyer you can find to defend you in court.


    >You may need this anyway, but having those statements will help.
    >Remember, if one of the contributors wrote some of that code on a
    >university machine, or while at work, they may not be _able_ to sign
    >over permission. Thus, even with written permission, you may end up on
    >the wrong end of a suit.


    >You have to set these things up before you start, if you do not want
    >headaches later. Given that you did not, you have a headache ahead, and
    >thus the best plan is trying to minimize it. Start with getting
    >permission, and see if something worse happens.


    That is a great argument for eliminating copyrights and patents and going open
    source.

    The Sage

    =============================================================
    http://members.cox.net/the.sage/index.htm

    "Little minds are interested in the extraordinary; great
    minds in the commonplace"
    -- Elbert Hubbard, ROYCROFT DICTIONARY AND BOOK OF EPIGRAMS
    =============================================================
    The_Sage, Apr 22, 2006
    #5
  6. Oliver Wong Guest

    "The_Sage" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > >Reply to article by: Scott Ellsworth <>
    >>Date written: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 14:38:52 -0700
    >>MsgID:<>

    >
    >>> >I want to release some free source code, but not all code is done by
    >>> >me. (ex: I use some code from others into my project... )

    >
    >>Then you do not have the right to release the source. (Unless, of
    >>course, that other code was written under contract such that you _do_
    >>own it.)

    >
    >>> >I think it is too complicate to check every function/routine belongs to
    >>> >whom, what should I do to avoid the copyright problem?

    >
    >>You should contact every single copyright holder involved with the code,
    >>and get a signed blanket permission. At the least, do something like
    >>Elliote Rusty Harold recently did with Jaxen when he relicensed it,
    >>where very copyright holder had to publicly affirm that they approved
    >>the license change.

    >
    >>> Hire the most expensive copyright lawyer you can find to defend you in
    >>> court.

    >
    >>You may need this anyway, but having those statements will help.
    >>Remember, if one of the contributors wrote some of that code on a
    >>university machine, or while at work, they may not be _able_ to sign
    >>over permission. Thus, even with written permission, you may end up on
    >>the wrong end of a suit.

    >
    >>You have to set these things up before you start, if you do not want
    >>headaches later. Given that you did not, you have a headache ahead, and
    >>thus the best plan is trying to minimize it. Start with getting
    >>permission, and see if something worse happens.

    >
    > That is a great argument for eliminating copyrights and patents and going
    > open
    > source.


    Open source and copyright and not mutually exclusive. I've released the
    source code to my RPG engine under GNU/GPL, but I still retain the copyright
    to it. You're free to download the source code, read it, learn from it, and
    make modifications to it. But if you use it to build your own RPG engine,
    and make that engine closed source, and sell the binaries for money, then I
    can sue you.

    Also, if you start an open source project, you *STILL* have to check the
    licenses of the source code you borrow from. That is, if your project uses
    source code from a GPL project, you have to ensure your code is GPL as well.
    So "going open source" does not eliminate all the legal bureaucracy stuff
    mentioned above.

    - Oliver
    Oliver Wong, Apr 26, 2006
    #6
  7. Ben Measures Guest

    On Wed, 26 Apr 2006 14:00:16 +0000, Oliver Wong wrote:

    > "The_Sage" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >> That is a great argument for eliminating copyrights and patents and going
    >> open source.

    >
    > Open source and copyright and not mutually exclusive. I've released the
    > source code to my RPG engine under GNU/GPL, but I still retain the
    > copyright to it.


    It is, in fact, copyright (and copyright alone) that enforces the GPL.
    Without copyright law, software could be distributed without honouring the
    obligations set out by the GPL, such as correct attribution and
    distribution of source-code.

    --
    Ben Measures
    $email =~ s/is@silly/@/
    Ben Measures, Apr 26, 2006
    #7
  8. wrote:
    > I think it is too complicate to check every function/routine belongs to
    > whom, what should I do to avoid the copyright problem?


    This is why you should have used @author tags in the first place, if
    you're modifying and incorporating other people's code. A much better
    idea is to keep the libs/jars separate and have a good readme with
    licenses, authors and locations all mentioned.

    Unfortunately, neither of these help solve your current problem,
    unless you have a spare tardis,

    Richard
    Richard Wheeldon, May 1, 2006
    #8
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