FUSE - Z80 ROM documentation

Paul W. Frields stickster at gmail.com
Thu Sep 1 22:26:33 UTC 2005

On Thu, 2005-09-01 at 23:06 +0100, Paul F. Johnson wrote:
> Hi,
> > On 9/1/05, Paul F. Johnson <paul at all-the-johnsons.co.uk> wrote:
> > > Eh? The ROMs are essential for all of the 8 bit machines and the wording
> > > from Amstrad is that as long as you're not selling (which we're not),
> > > then you have their blessing.  
> > 
> > That is absolutely not good enough.  At some point in the future...
> > there very well maybe be iso images of Extras that we as a project
> > will be encouraging vendors to sell.. vendors like cheapbytes for
> > example. 
> Fair enough - I can understand that. The question is there though is
> what is being charged for? If it is to cover the media, then there is no
> charge being made for the software. If the cost to also cover cheapbytes
> costs (for example), then again, the software is not being charged for.
> There is also precedent on this in that the emulator has been published
> on the Linux Format July cover CD and DVD. The magazine is available
> world wide. There was no charge made for the software.

I'm reading opensource.org, the OSD, paragraph 1: "Free Redistribution -
The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the
software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing
programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a
royalty or other fee for such sale."

N.B. "...shall not restrict any party from selling...the software."

> > Not only that but it has to be clear that such 3rd parties or
> > any party who wants to make a fedora based distro can take anything
> > from Extras, rebrand the collection of software and "sell" it via
> > pressed media or binary downloads as is the case for all other
> > projects in Extras.  This isn't a self-serving community, we have to
> > think hard about the potential infringement any derivative work might
> > run afoul of. 
> Again, I can fully understand that. The same point as above though
> applies - are they charging for the software or for the media and their
> costs? Surely also if someone does rebrand and sell and this breaks the
> terms of the package, then it the person who did the alteration who
> breaks the licence and not us. IANAL, but that's how it works in the UK.

Fedora supports open source, which means Fedora does not discourage
people from selling the software it produces.  See above.  Putting
things in Fedora that prevent or discourage people from selling software
is therefore the wrong thing to do.

> > If people aren't free to make a derivative work that
> > includes these ROM packages and sell that derivative work..then that
> > package has no place in Extras.  And frankly its just not clear to me
> > that the one group posting provides enough legal cover. Let's put it
> > this way.. if they had just said "no commercial use" then the ROMS
> > would not be allowable. Instead they say something much more vague
> > that may or may not be interpreted as "no commercial use."
> The posting was made by one of the "senior" management at Amstrad who
> would have had to have had what he said cleared by a lawyer (I would
> imagine)
> The wording is certainly not cut and drive. AIUI

Did you mean "cut and dried"?

> 1. Anyone can use the ROMS and alter the ROMS
> 2. No-one can charge for the ROMS, but shareware is fine as long as no
> charge is made for the ROMS
> 3. You can't use them in anything embedded
> Now 1 is easy enough as is 3. 2 is the problem as it is a case of having
> to prove that no-charge is being made for the ROMS

I would say 2 and 3 are *both* problems.  After all, the Linux kernel is
used in embedded stuff.  Once again, the OSD, paragraph 10: "License
Must Be Technology-Neutral - No provision of the license may be
predicated on any individual technology or style of interface."

There's no way the license granted by Amstrad can meet this requirement
if they prohibit using their material in an embedded environment.
> > > It does get a bit fuzzy in that if you're charging, as long as it's not for the ROMS, they're 
> > > cool with it.
> > 
> > The wording in the groups posting...is extremely vague here. 
> Yep

Okay, let's err on the side of caution then, in addition to the side of
open source software.

> > Who
> > exactly gets to make the judgement as to whether the cost of a future
> > pressed ISO sent to you in the mail or a future binary download you
> > paid access for includes a value placed on the ROM packages or not?
> Amstrad I would imagine.

Whoa, big red flag!  Let's not check our rights at the door, shall we?

> > This sounds to me like its open to rather wide interpretation...and
> > that could very well mean a lawsuit if the copyrights change hands
> > again..or if the company management changes.  
> If the copyright changes hands (unlikely as Amstrad are using the
> Spectrum ROMS in embedded technologies in the UK and making a fortune
> out of it!), then the packages would need reviewing, have the licence
> checked and anything else that could be expected. Amstrad is not like a
> normal company. Rather like Donald Trump's company, once you get past a
> certain point in the company, you never leave. Alan Sugar (head honcho
> of Amstrad) has had exactly the same management and legal team (to a
> person) for the past 18 years.

Calls like this aren't based on conjecture about what might happen in
the future, they're based on current facts.  Current facts all point to
no ROMs in the distribution.

> > If i generously
> > interpret what that group posting said..sure it sounds okay..but
> > looking at it from the standpoint of potential legal problems. the one
> > phrase "in any sense, charging" is a big red flag to me.
> Okay, can one of the RH legal eagles check the legalities on this? The
> constant go/no-go is not much fun. We're trying to predict the future
> and every eventuality with nothing but conjecture and the insane legal
> mentality prevalent in the US.

The argument can be based purely on the OSD and the ROMs still fail the
test.  I don't see why we need to bug RH legal with this; it seems very
clear to me.

Paul W. Frields, RHCE                          http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
 Fedora Documentation Project: http://fedora.redhat.com/projects/docs/
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part
URL: <http://listman.redhat.com/archives/fedora-extras-list/attachments/20050901/775d0152/attachment.sig>

More information about the fedora-extras-list mailing list