[ros-dev] ReactOS Project Status

Steven Edwards winehacker at gmail.com
Thu Jan 26 09:07:23 CET 2006

Sorry for this general email. I have gotten many personal emails about
the current situation and cannot reply to all of them. In short here
is the deal:

There have been allegations about possible copyright and trade secret
violations in the ReactOS Project. Pending a discussion with legal
council, those members with SVN access who were part of private
discussion and online on IRC on Tuesday Jan 24th 2006 decided by
majority vote to suspend operations of public SVN, forum, discussion
and email archive. Anyone with SVN write access who might have missed
any of the discussion is asked to try to be on IRC today at 3PM EST
(-5GMT). We are going to discuss the matter further and decide how to

What started out as a question about development methods mushroomed in
to a much larger issue. The question the looms before us is a simple
one. If one or more developers had at any leaked source code in the
past, does it taint us and the entire project in the future? It is my
point of view based on the AT&T Unix case that it does not however
IANAL. It is my hope the matter can be solved via a simple set of
changes in our IP Policy as well as sworn affidavits by major
contributors stating they do not have access to leaked sources and if
they ever did, no longer possess them.

Rest assured that the project will live on. Every developer I have
spoken with wants the project to survive and be a success. In the
meantime we are filtering email discussion on this matter because we
do not want rumor and hearsay to be spread. When the time comes and we
have proper legal advice we will move forward. No one is trying to
hide the truth, but law regarding Copyright, Trade Secret, Patent, etc
differ from one country to another and we are currently exploring what
US law says regarding the situation.

One final note, no one is denying that mistakes could have been made
and or trying to hide it forever and pretend there is nothing going
on. We just simply do not want people to be accused of breaking the
law if they really did not. There is clearly some violation of our
current IP policy, however depending on what the legal council
suggests we will see how we move forward. Many of the core developers
at some point have either violated small sections of it by mistake or
prior to its ratification.

Steven Edwards - ReactOS and Wine developer

"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and
that is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

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