Calling all open source developers

François Chaplais francois.chaplais at
Wed Oct 21 14:34:14 CDT 2009

Thanks for the feedback. I work in (applied) mathematics, and in this  
fields patents are a no-no. You cannot patent a mathematical idea. The  
best you can do is disseminate it and hope it will have a great number  
of children (I will not digress on the muddy market of scientific  

For instance, JPEG is compression over a discrete cosine transform.   
The DCT is not copyrighted, it is a mathematical transform. However,  
it seems to me that incorporating into some code that runs on a  
computer system may make it (the code) fit for some form of copyright;  
moreover, if it is embedded into some hardware, the hardware may be  
patended. Is this right?

Best regards,
Le 21 oct. 2009 à 21:00, David Bovill a écrit :

> 2009/10/21 François Chaplais <francois.chaplais at>
>> just a remark about all the legal stuff in this thread:
>> assume you have a non totally permissive license on your code, and  
>> that
>> somebody breaks the license, by, let us say, making a copy  of the  
>> code and
>> commercially distributing it
>> Now who will flex the muscle to prevent this? Who will pay the  
>> lawyer(s)?
>> If there is nothing prepared at this stage, you may as well drop  
>> all of
>> this legal stuff...
> Quick answer to that:
>   1. There are a number of organisations like the Free Software  
> Foundation,
>   that have and will continue to take on legal case which they fund,  
> often
>   with high profile pro-bono lawyers to defend such violations. This  
> has been
>   done before and they will continue to do so in order to help set  
> legal
>   precedents.
>   2. Some of the brightest lawyers in countries all around the world  
> are
>   part of the open source and Creative Commons networks. I've sat on  
> the
>   steering committee here in the UK for Creative Commons, and can  
> vouch for
>   how bright and surprisingly generous these people can be. Someone  
> who rips
>   one of these licenses off makes a LOT of people very angry, it is  
> a foolish
>   company or individual that messes with this network. Much easier  
> to pick on
>   someone else.
>   3. Being explicit about your licenses costs you nothing, help  
> everyone be
>   clear about what they can and cannot do, and in a direct answer to  
> the
>   skeptisism you rightly raise, makes a companies lawyer think  
> twice, about
>   breaking the terms laid out in the license.
>   4. You don't need to be convinced of any of the above. None of the
>   philosophy, banter and arguments littered around the internet. You  
> can
>   simply learn from the practices of successful communities. There  
> are plenty
>   of examples of robust scaleable long lasting software communities  
> that have
>   adopted clear open source licenses. Looking around and trying to  
> find
>   successful code sharing communities without any licensing - and  
> you'll come
>   up short. Why? I think it is reasonable to conclude that being  
> clear about
>   your licensing helps.
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