[OpenIndiana-discuss] What is OI/illumos stance on recreation of features from Solaris 11 (and other proprietary OSes)?

Bob Friesenhahn bfriesen at simple.dallas.tx.us
Wed Oct 10 14:28:38 UTC 2012

On Wed, 10 Oct 2012, Jim Klimov wrote:

> Hello all,
>  I was at an Oracle presentation regarding Solaris 11, and they
> did mention a number of features which I think appeared after the
> code split. Some sound like ideas simple enough to be recreated
> without using their source and just make a look-alike, with any
> other conincidence being purely coincidental.
>  The main question is IMHO legalese FUD: if we go this path and
> recreate in illumos from scratch look-alikes of nifty features
> and minor improvements that were created elsewhere, are such
> works vulnerable to lawsuits?

There is more than enough FUD to go around.  It is damaging and 

Developing software which is works compatibly with some other software 
(even to the API level) is quite normal and not to be feared.  This 
practice has been supported by court of law in the US and EU, 
including major recent decisions.

Patents and copyrights are to be feared.

Many/most features developed are not patentable and without access to 
source code to copy, copyright is not an issue.

If a developer re-implements a feature he previously implemented at 
prior company (from memory) then there is risk because trade secrets 
could be involved.

Bob Friesenhahn
bfriesen at simple.dallas.tx.us, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/

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