Phil Tomson wrote:
> projects) could hire an IP lawyer to look into Ruby's license scheme and 
> then either issue an opinion exonerating Ruby's license or issue an 
> opinion suggesting changes that might be needed.  I suspect this would 

A lawyer licensed in what jurisdiction?  Answering what question?

The problem is, a generic "Lawyer" can't say "it's all good".  They can 
only answer very specific questions for specific clients in the 
jurisdiction in which they're licensed.

Having said that, it might help to have a FAQ type area where the 
general ramifications of using Ruby code, etc. were answered in a 
general way.  This could at least get rid of the legal "red herrings" 
like worrying about whether the license for the interpreter affects 
programs written in Ruby.

What you could maybe do is pick a few very common scenarios like "I want 
to build an obfuscating Ruby compiler" or "I want to include Ruby on the 
CD with my FooBar Widget Set" or something.  Then you could have a 
lawyer find the relevant areas to look at.  For example (very fake made 
up example):

Situation: I want to build an obfuscating Ruby compiler

Important Questions:
* Will you be using enough of the Ruby source code that your project 
will be considered a derivative work?
* Will you be doing a "clean room" re-implementation of the Ruby 
interpreter?

General Analysis: If you write a compiler from scratch based on the 
(currently nonexistant) Ruby language specification, you maintain full 
copyright control over the compiler sources and can do with them what 
you wish.  If you use the Ruby sources as part of your compiler, you may 
need to do X.

Ben