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Re: The Trillian GPL violation allegations are confirmed false.
From: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 13:20:05 -0500

On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 01:54:51 +0100, Tobias Weisserth <tobias () weisserth de>  said:

(Note - although my name got dragged into this, I'm not at all privy to what
the actual Trillian code looks like... I just contributed a Gaim "off by one" fix that
happened to be in the code section in question).

Question: If Cerulean Studios let GAIM use parts of their codebase, how
can the GAIM people license this under the GPL?

Because I'm told they shared *algorithms*, not actual code.  And copyright
and GPL don't enter into it.

"What you need to do is loop across the packet while doing this..."

You might still have patent or trade-secret issues, but there's no copyright
issue at that point.

There are enough clients that can connect to the Yahoo network and which
haven't been vulnerable to the GAIM exploits (which were buffer
overflows mainly if I remember correctly). 

If the shared algorithm had a bug (such as "oh, and don't forget to do this")
then of course both implementations will be broken.

Bugs can creep through even the best Chinese-wall development - if the original
has a bug, the team doing the reverse engineering will probably have the bug in
the specs that get handed across the wall, and as a result the code written
will be bug-compatible.

At a previous gig, a co-worker of mine wrote an emulator for a Tektronix 4027
graphics terminal to run on a Zenith Z-100.  Working only from published specs
and "what does a real 4027 scribble on the screen" he found his program
produced different results for certain color-fill operations with some complex
self-intersecting polygons - which he tracked down to a bug in the 4027
firmware, and then reproduced in his software to be bug-compatible.  All without
access to any proprietary Tektronix information....

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