namespace protection compatible with the OSD?

John Cowan jcowan at
Thu Apr 19 20:29:06 UTC 2001

Brian Behlendorf wrote:

>>> Secondarily, I'm saying even if you didn't implement my code, but
>>> followed the published document that describes the spec (which I also
>>> put under this license), you'd have to follow the same rules.
>> This cannot be accomplished with an open source copyright license. This
>> sounds like a job for trademarks.
> On what basis do you claim I can't do this with an open source copyright
> license?  What OSD section does it violate?

The problem is not with "open source" but with "copyright license".  The
right you mention is just not one of those that a copyright holder has.

If I bake a cake based on the recipe in your copyrighted book:

1) the cake is not a derivative work of the book, and

2) the cake is not a derivative work of some other cake that you baked.

> Developers who didn't particularly care about
> compatibility and used VJ++ because it came free from MS weren't incented
> to mandate compatibility from MS,

That only worked for MS because of their overwhelming market power.
Defying standards is (probably) a losing game for everyone else.

>> This doesn't seem to be at all the same thing. Nobody has to execute
>> a license of Microsoft's in order to implement the same API's as Windows,
>> unless doing so involved creating a derivative work of some copyrighted
>> material.
> That's precisely what I'm saying.  What's the copyright on the
> documentation for the Win32 API as provided by MS?

It doesn't matter what it is.  See the cake example. 

There is / one art             || John Cowan <jcowan at>
no more / no less              ||
to do / all things             ||
with art- / lessness           \\ -- Piet Hein

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