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Re: Why not contribute? (to GCC)
On 04/26/2010 12:31 AM, Ian Lance Taylor wrote:
Mark Mielke<email@example.com> writes:
Wouldn't contributing a patch to be read by the person who will be
solving the problem, but without transferring of rights, introduce
risk or liability for the FSF and GCC?
I thought "clean room implementation" implies not seeing how somebody
else did it first, as the "clean" part is tainted after somebody
examines the patch?
Clean room implementation techniques are not required to avoid
copyright violations. Copyright only covers the expression of an
idea; it does not cover the idea itself. Expressing the same idea in
different code is not a copyright violation. Even independent
identical expressions are not copyright violations if they are truly
independent. And if there is only one possible way to express an
idea, then copyright does not apply at all, as there is no creative
aspect to the work.
They aren't truly independent if you use the patch as a model to work
from. Demonstrating to a judge that your work is unique might be a lot
more difficult if you confess to reading the original before writing the
What are clean room implementations for if not for avoiding copyright
violation? At my company, we took things seriously to the point of
dividing the GPL designers from the non-GPL designers to prevent code
fragments from being leaked to one side or the other, even if just a
faint memory that ends up resulting in code that looks just about
exactly like the original, even if the author cannot identify what the