[erlang-questions] A PropEr announcement

Eric Merritt <>
Fri Jun 17 16:07:52 CEST 2011


Guys,

 None of us are lawyers (I think ;) so lets leave the legalities to
the lawyers. If you are really worried about things buy a QuickCheck
license otherwise Kostis has produced a good open project that finally
makes property based testing (an extreme improvement over simple unit
testing) accessible to the average joe, from a price perspective yes,
but even more importantly from an openness perspective. Kostis is
working on the license issue and I suspect will come out with
something pretty acceptable.

Eric

On Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 8:23 AM, Edmond Begumisa
<> wrote:
> On Fri, 17 Jun 2011 20:43:51 +1000, James Churchman
> <> wrote:
>
>> making something with a similar-ish api to something else is not reverse
>> engineering. its a rewrite from scratch.
>
> I didn't say that it was, and neither did Ulf.
>
> Ulf just raised a hypothetical chain of events which may be interpreted by
> _some_ people reading _some_ statutes as reverse engineering.
>
> In said hypothetical legal dispute -- what *you* and *I* think is reverse
> engineering doesn't matter. What matters would be the aggrieved parties
> argument for interpretation of the statute, and any precedents supporting
> such an interpretation, but most importantly, their evidence for the facts
> and chain of events that lead up to the dispute, and ultimately how well
> both sides can convince the court in session. In such a dispute, the
> defendant/respondent may well present the the points you raise as part of
> their side of the case.
>
> My point was in regards to whom would be liable to whom in such a dispute.
>
> - Edmond -
>
>> reverse engineering would be disassembling the beam files to discover how
>> they work, simply reimplementing them it is not. if that was the case there
>> would be one cd player, one car, one bike, one washing machine, one fridge,
>> one operating system etc.. in the world and never ever a second version, and
>> having a copy of the original will make no difference, if you clean room
>> something, as long as you don't break any patents in the process.
>>
>> On 17 Jun 2011, at 04:30, Edmond Begumisa wrote:
>>
>>> On Fri, 17 Jun 2011 12:56:59 +1000, Edmond Begumisa
>>> <> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Just to clarify/reinforce, what gets a little confusing in these
>>>> discussions are the rights and obligations between licensor and licensee,
>>>> which is a contractual arrangement and subject to the doctrine of privity.
>>>>
>>>
>>> CORRECTION: This was inaccurate. A licensee agreement is not strictly
>>> contractual agreement, but a license may be passed as consideration
>>> exchanged as part of a contractual agreement. Nevertheless, the privy
>>> doctrine usually applies to agreements in which licenses are past in most
>>> jurisdictions.
>>>
>>>> [Continuing with the mentioned hypothetical]
>>>>
>>>> * If the PropEr developers have copies of QuickCheck Mini, then they
>>>> bind themselves to a license agreement with Quviq, including the promise not
>>>> to reverse engineer.
>>>> * If PropEr is GPL'ed, and Vlad uses it, he binds himself to an
>>>> agreement with the PropEr developers, and the terms thereunder.
>>>>
>>>> Vlad is not privy to the first agreement, and thus can never be held
>>>> liable for its breach, if there is such a breach. And he cannot be expected
>>>> to stop using a version he already has. (Though he might have the rug pulled
>>>> out from under him, should PropEr development cease and future versions stop
>>>> being made.)
>>>>
>>>> However, assuming all parties are in Europe, and although the concept of
>>>> freedom of contract generally applies, they also bind themselves doctrine
>>>> that they can never make an agreement that contravenes codified EU law -
>>>> including said reverse-engineering law in said copyright statute. Then the
>>>> aggrieved party need not be privy to an agreement to have their rights
>>>> enforced since these rights are not established by an agreement, but by a
>>>> statute. In this case, Vlad and all PropEr users in Europe could well be
>>>> ordered by a court to cease using the program regardless of any agreement
>>>> they have with it's developers (since such an agreement would be considered
>>>> invalidated.) Hypothetically speaking.
>>>>
>>>> That said: Erlang being a small-friendly community -- I assumed (and
>>>> like to continue to a assume) that PropEr and QuickCheck developers have not
>>>> only been aware of each others projects, but I also like to think that
>>>> they've been in touch with each other and sorted out any such concerns
>>>> before version 1 of PropEr was announced. Like Erlang, I prefer to think of
>>>> the happy case!
>>>>
>>>> - Edmond -
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Thu, 16 Jun 2011 18:23:04 +1000, Ulf Wiger
>>>> <> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On 16 Jun 2011, at 10:01, Vlad Dumitrescu wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 08:43, Ulf Wiger
>>>>>> <> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On 16 Jun 2011, at 08:30, Vlad Dumitrescu wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> This kind of issues are worse than flame wars! :-)
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I have yet another point of view that increases the confusion: PropEr
>>>>>>> is mostly compatible with Triq and QuickCheck (there's a free older
>>>>>>> version).
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Well, there is a version available in jungerl, but to my knowledge, it
>>>>>> was not put there by the authors, and not actually intended to be free. Even
>>>>>> so, one might consider it a lot less sensitive to copy that version than the
>>>>>> later, proprietary, versions of QuickCheck.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Quviq released an official mini-version last year.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> http://www.quviq.com/news100621.html
>>>>>
>>>>> Yes, but the QuickCheck Mini license agreement, while permitting free
>>>>> use and re-distribution, specifically forbids reverse-engineering. Thus, we
>>>>> should hope that the PropEr developers did not obtain a copy of QuickCheck
>>>>> Mini and ran it in order to learn how it worked, as this would put them in
>>>>> violation of the EU Directives regarding software copyright.
>>>>>
>>>>> For those who are inspired by PropEr, but are put off by the GPL, using
>>>>> and re-distributing QuickCheck Mini is of course unproblematic. ;-)
>>>>>
>>>>> BR,
>>>>> Ulf W
>>>>>
>>>>> Ulf Wiger, CTO, Erlang Solutions, Ltd.
>>>>> http://erlang-solutions.com
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
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