namespace protection compatible with the OSD?

Lawrence E. Rosen lrosen at
Thu Apr 19 18:24:47 UTC 2001

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Brian Behlendorf [mailto:brian at]
>Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 8:55 PM
>To: phil hunt
>Cc: license-discuss at
>Subject: Re: namespace protection compatible with the OSD?
>It doesn't limit the right to fork at all, but it does somewhat carve out
>an API namespace; the example of MS using something like this to prevent
>Win32 reimplementation is probably a good example, where they'd put a
>license like this on their Win32 spec.  I'd be surprised if they don't
>already have some sort of anti-reimplementation or
>anti-reverse-engineering clauses in their click-through or shrink-wrap
>licenses, though.

How easily we slip from concept to concept, in the process losing their
important distinctions!  Arguably, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act
(DMCA) can be used to prevent reverse engineering of MS software.  However,
any who wants to can watch Win32's behavior on a computer and independently
implement software to behave identically.  That "reimplementation" is
entirely legal and cannot be prevented -- except by patent protection.

/Larry Rosen
lrosen at

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