On 1 Apr 2008, at 00:03, Corey Jewett wrote:
>
> On Mar 31, 2008, at 04:53 , XiaoLiang Liu wrote:
>> Can anyone help me on this?
>>
>> I think Ruby development team should have investigated the license  > issue
>> before release the package.
>>
>> Thanks a lot.
>
> http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/F/freeware.html
> http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/freeware
>
> The term ┼ăreewarehas no clear accepted definition, but it is  ommonly used for packages which permit redistribution but not  
> modification (and their source code is not available). These  
> packages are not free software, so please don't use ┼ăreewareto  efer to free software. -- http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/categories.html

Given that this freeware distribution *is* the source code, I don't  
see that there should be any restriction to it. In fact, more than  
this, the fact that it was well known to be published as source code  
by the author, any case law making this software non-public domain  
would be damaging to the industry.

> IANAL.

No, nor am I.

> Freeware is different from public domain. Releasing something into  
> the public domain means you abandon your copyright and therefore  
> your ownership of the work. Freeware is a somewhat arbitrary  
> license, but it generally implies that the author has given you all  ights to use something. Modification and redistribution may or may  ot be questionable.

Traditionally (I'm talking back before everyone had typed "http"),  
freeware was common. From what I remember of the general actions of  eople, most freeware apps are considered free to distribute, and free  o use, subject to other restrictions in the license. If there are no  pecific additional restrictions, one is effectively granted  
permission to use the software for whatever one might please. Reverse  ngineering of software is rarely regarded as allowable, however, in  
this case the source code *is* the delivered product.

With regard to intellectual property law, anything which has a  
copyright on it is well protected in most countries with mature IP  
law, and as a consequence I cannot see the argument of public domain  
dropping copyright or ownership. This is just the same as a virus  
author not being able to release themselves from the law by way of  
claiming that they only wrote the code, they did not 'release' it.  
Similarly MIT licenses have been known not to provide protection in  
these cases, however, as far as I know the license remains sound and  
case law from such incidents is not used in copyright dispute cases.

> Unfortunately, given that the term freeware is so vague, your best  
> bet is to either track down the original author. Perhaps you should  ontact matz directly and ask why it was committed since it appears  e did the original checkin: http://svn.ruby-lang.org/cgi-bin/viewvc.cgi/trunk/lib/gserver.rb?revision=4102&view=markup

Finally I would just argue that the GServer implementation is very  
largely 'standard' for a multi-threaded server design and  
implementation, as such I doubt that any significant copyright is  
actually owned here. The code is likely to have been derived from that  hich is already in the public domain, and moreover it could be  
replicated without reference as MIT licensed code in a short time- 
frame. Given this, anyone with concern about the license should  
probably just do that.

> Corey
>