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From: Sean Parent (sparent_at_[hidden])
Date: 2002-12-03 14:26:46

Sorry for taking so long to respond - I wanted to make sure I met with legal
first so I was giving good information (and correcting some information I've
already given):

on 11/26/02 8:48 AM, David Abrahams at dave_at_[hidden] wrote:
> Sean Parent <sparent_at_[hidden]> writes:
>> 2. That the terms of the license state clearly what the rights granted are
>> with respect to:
>> Reproduction
>> Producing Derivative Works
>> Perform Publicly
>> Display Publicly
> Does the "usual Boost copyright notice" do this part already, or is it
> important to mention each of these aspects by name?

Adobe legal does not need perform or display called out specifically. We
look for reproduction, modification and distribution rights.

>> 3. Any known patents must also be clearly declared and must be accompanied
>> by a license granting use.

That's an internal policy for tacking our own patents and those for which we
explicitly purchase rights. If the license provides reproduction,
modification and distribution rights then that is enough without granting
additional patent rights to "make" or "use".

>> 4. Any requirements that must be met for the license must also be clearly
>> stated. Such as terms of payment, or credit. One tricky issue that comes up
>> frequently with software is whether a term applies to the source only, or to
>> the compiled work. This most frequently comes up with requirements stated as
>> "All copies must display this copyright notice." - Was the intension that a
>> compiled work be considered a copy and if so, how should the term
>> "displayed" be read? It is best if requirements are stated clearly for
>> software for both the source and compiled works.
> Aha. At least we don't habitually use the term "display". But I get
> the point. Should we say "provided this copyright notice appears in
> all copies of the source" instead?

Yes - please.

>> 5. Disclaimers such as "AS IS" are strongly discouraged - they are
>> viewed as a statement that the file may or may not contain other
>> copyrighted or patented work. Disclaimers weaken the copyrights
>> granted. 90% of the time this is where I get involved in a review -
>> usually reviewing the authors history and the specific material to
>> determine if this is something the author just threw in thinking it
>> protected them or is specifically intended to mislead. I've had
>> pieces of code that I've reviewed that are under the GPL that are
>> handed off "AS IS".
> Ouch. Can you ask your lawyers how library authors can protect
> themselves from lawsuits over software malfunction without raising the
> idea that the software itself may be stolen work?

Go ahead and leave the "AS IS" term - the short summary. Legal would
appreciate it if you made explicit warranties because then we have someone
up the license chain to make a claim against if the code is defective in
some way (contains bugs, viruses, is poor quality, violates IP rights...).
However, a licensor cannot be expected to assume the potential cost created
by a warranty when s/he is not making money off of the code. An "AS IS"
clause is the way to disclaim all warranties. I "just" have to get a VP to
sign accepting that the code is reasonably safe. So long as boost stays an
active and trusted community this shouldn't be difficult - the concern shown
over IP issues in this whole thread pretty much makes the case.

Sean Parent
Sr. Computer Scientist II
Advanced Technology Group
Adobe Systems Incorporated

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