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On 04/09/2011 15:03, Martin Schröder wrote:
And I would fire any employee using code by a third party without a
clear license.

A bit extreme, but as long as the rules are clearly set from the start...
That's a point I forgot to mention, which was raised recently too: some companies have lawyers that want very clear licenses on 3rd party code, which is understandable.

As said, it depends on the scope of the code, and how it is used.
A library is often a large body of code, often used unchanged, and it rarely comes without license anyway. A code snippet found in a public Web site is often small, and rarely used as is: one changes the naming conventions, adapt to internal coding rules, fix a bug or adapt to their needs, tweak here and there. Such small snippet is rarely very innovative, and is more an example than a recipe to follow blindly. I often look out on the Net for examples of uses of an API, particularly for the Java API and some libraries, but never do copy/paste, I try instead to understand typical usage of the API and adapt to my environment. (The problem of an API is that often it offers a range of functions, without necessarily explaining how they fit together.)

Basically, what I wanted to say in my previous message, is that if somebody doesn't care to put an explicit license beside their code, they don't care for the usage done with it. Of course, lawyers can think differently, and one can imagine somebody changing their mind, or posting such code as a bait, or seeing this code used by a big name (Apple, etc.) and sensing some opportunity for easy cash... In our modern world, I fear lawyers are right to be paranoid, just look at the current raging patent wars!

Philippe Lhoste
--  (near) Paris -- France
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