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Re: copyright problem (regarding eemu and compatibles(LONG))

This is not legal advice, no solicitor-client relationship is established,

I think this is one of those circumstances where a lawyer that has
experience with software copyright and licensing matters should be consulted
(perhaps/probably the company's lawyer).

There are many issues here off the top of my head including, but not limited
to, the rights and scope to make derivative works under the license below in
view of the comments of the license authors (and whether some type of
licensing can be put in place to allow for the proposed "open sourcing"
whether it is the GPL or more likely some other type of license), whether,
if there is no license available, there is copyright in the protocol or
other material used to create the new code and if so whether there has been
infringement, subject to defenses, of that protocol or other material
(noting that this is a multi-jurisdiction issue requiring consideration of
laws of many countries - not just the U.S.), whether there has been a clean
implementation (not tainted by what seems to have been access to the source
of the emu-server), the risks inherent in a copyright holder alert to what
the holder thinks is a potential infringement, how risk averse the company
is to distributing potentially infringing code and the consequences of using
the "eemu" name.

Accordingly, I think some experienced legal advice is required here.

Also, this is an example of where specific legal issues should not be aired
to public forums. Legal advice should be sought in private from a lawyer who
can advise on the best course of action to minimize any possible legal
ramifications. Too much information disclosed publicly here I think. No
problem with abstract legal questions.

Just my $.02

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jörgen Hägg" <jorgen.hagg@axis.com>
To: <debian-legal@lists.debian.org>
Cc: <fer@debian.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 7:13 AM
Subject: copyright problem (regarding eemu and compatibles(LONG))

> This is not (yet) a Debian problem, though it concerns an existing
> package, eemu.
> I've written a backwards compatible eemu-server and a set of clients.
> They are not using eemu-code, they uses a new protocol between them.
> (We use them internally right now and are quite happy with them.)
> The server can, however, understand the eemu-protocol so that
> eemu-clients and the eemu-browsers can be used.
> Now, as I really liked eemu I thought the eemu-people should get some
> credit for their work. For those who need commercial support I would also
> include links to eemu.
> I've used emu-server-2.32 before I wrote my own and the license looks
> like this:
> # EMU is an event manager processing events from "emsg".
> # VERSION 2.32
> #  Copyright 1999
> #  by Jarrix Systems Pty Ltd.  All rights reserved.  Some individual
> #  files in this distribution may be covered
> #  by other copyrights, as noted in their embedded comments.
> #
> #  Redistribution and use in source and binary forms are permitted
> #  provided that this entire copyright notice is duplicated in all such
> #  copies, and that any documentation, announcements, and other
> #  materials related to such distribution and use acknowledge that the
> #  software was developed at Jarrix Systems Pty Ltd by Jarra and Anna
> #  Voleynik.
> #
> #  No charge, other than an "at-cost" distribution fee, may be charged
> #  for copies, derivations, or distributions of this material without
> #  the express written consent of the copyright holder.
> #
> I would like to release my server under GPL, with copyright to the company
> I work for. And, hopefully, maybe also some day included in Debian. :-)
> So I contacted the eemu-people (see below) to get their view of
> a name for the server. (I thought that would be a polite thing to do.)
> Now, as you can see, they have a slightly different view of copyright
> than what I do. I've contacted the eemu-maintainer (fer@debian.org),
> and got his support, the european copyright laws would not be a problem.
> Question is, could there be any legal problem world-wide?
> Or are they just trying to scare me?
> I apologize for including private e-mails, but I think they are
> necessary for giving the whole picture.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To: <jarra@eemuconcept.com>
> Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2000 11:07 AM
> Subject: eemu
> Hi.
> Got your address from the LISA proceedings. Maybe I should have
> written to you before, but, well, no time and all that. :-)
> I started to use eemu maybe one or two years ago, when you still
> had a free version (maybe you still do?).
> Anyway, I was impressed by the simplicity and strength of eemu.
> So I implemented it with a couple of clients. Soon I discovered
> that the load on the eemu-server went crazy each five minutes
> when all clients called in and reported. (Yes, yes, I know, shouldn't be
> any, but keeping disk low isn't always the top priority. )
> Ok, being a perl guy I started writing code to get rid of the
> fork of sort and grep when the outfiles was written.
> I ended up rewriting the server from scratch. So, things started to
> work fine now, lesser load on the server. (Yes, that's still the
> wrong approach, fix the problems instead. I know. :-)
> But I couldn't resist. The eemu idea is great. The protocol
> was a little (in my humble view) rigid. So, I rewrote emsg1
> in perl instead, changing to a multiline protocol with 'key: value'.
> Still using the original commands though. But now I could
> extend them if I wanted.
> So, the only thing that remain from eemu is the idea and
> backwards compatibility with the old protocol.
> (It is still usable together with xeb 2.1)
> Now I am thinking of publishing the code under GPL. Maybe someone
> else would like to use the code. I've got so much from the net
> and now I wanted to return something also.
> So, therefore I would like to ask you if you have any objections
> to this?
> I know this may interfere with your company, I hope it doesn't, I'm
> sure there are many that want commercial support instead.
> And I thought of calling it 'nemu' (not emu) or something like that.
> Of course, I will refer to you and your company if you don't mind.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> From: "eemuconcept" <eemuconcept@eemuconcept.com>
> To: "J=F6rgen H=E4gg
> " <jh@axis.com>
> Subject: Re: eemu
> Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 09:24:38 +1100
> J=F6rgen,
> Thank you for your e-mail and appreciation of the eemu concept that makes
> life so much easier.
> We had also been aware of the performance problems. The commercial product
> has addressed those issues as well as a few others.
> Regarding your derivation of the eEMU software - we do not approve of
> releasing it under any licence (this includes GPL); which we are entitled
> to
> do according to the licence the free eEMU software was released under.
> We are of the opinion that a site that needs a fast and reliable real-time
> monitoring like eEMU
> can afford to purchase a software licence and thus support further eEMU
> development.
> With Regards,
> Jarra
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> To: "eemuconcept" <eemuconcept@eemuconcept.com>
> Subject: Re: eemu
> Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 13:34:57 +0100
> From: Joergen Haegg <jh@axis.com>
> > Regarding your derivation of the eEMU software - we do not approve of
> > releasing it under any licence (this includes GPL); which we are
> d to
> > do according to the licence the free eEMU software was released under.
> Maybe I didn't make myself clear, my version does not contain
> any of your code, it is only compatible on a protocol level.
> (And that's only to be compatible with older clients and browsers,
> my own client uses a new protocol.)
> So I don't consider it a derivation, it is a completely new code base.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> From: "eemuconcept" <eemuconcept@eemuconcept.com>
> To: "Joergen Haegg" <jh@axis.com>
> Subject: Re: eemu
> Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 16:25:01 +1100
> Joergen,
> We have not only given the community a very useful free software
> (by the way it is available through some Unix/Linux distributions),
> but also a very good tool for those who feel like making their code
> s)
> freely available. Sadly, there was scarce offer from Free eEMU users
> to participate in the eEMU agents "exchange"  (credit to those who shared
> their
> code).
> Be it moral or legal obligations, you have asked for our approval in
> relation
> to your release of the eEMU based code.
> We have explicitly disagreed.
> We would advise you to check with your lawyer for negative consequences of
> your intention. Whether your code is or is not a derivation of our Free
> MU
> software is not a matter of your opinion. Derivation concerns the logic of
> a program irrespective of the programming language it is implemented in.
> Also, are you in a position
> to make a decision regarding publishing your code or is it, perhaps,
> your employer/client who actually owns it ?
> Using or writing software code is not just a matter of taking or giving.
> The process involves business and legal issues.
> Regards,
> Anna
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
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