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Who Controls Vert.x: Red Hat, VMware, Neither?

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the reply-hazy-try-again dept.

Open Source 118

snydeq writes "Simon Phipps sheds light on a fight for control over Vert.x, an open source project for scalable Web development that 'seems immunized to corporate control.' 'Vert.x is an asynchronous, event-driven open source framework running on the JVM. It supports the most popular Web programming languages, including Java, JavaScript, Groovy, Ruby, and Python. It's getting lots of attention, though not necessarily for the right reasons. A developer by the name of Tim Fox, who worked at VMware until recently, led the Vert.x project — before VMware's lawyers forced him to hand over the Vert.x domain, blog, and Google Group. Ironically, the publicity around this action has helped introduce a great technology with an important future to the world. The dustup also illustrates how corporate politics works in the age of open source: As corporate giants grasp for control, community foresight ensures the open development of innovative technology carries on.'"

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118 comments

Does not support PHP (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42569363)

Funny how they support "the most popular languages", except for the one everyone actually uses. I think they meant "corporate", not popular.

Re:Does not support PHP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42569429)

I was thinking the same. That, and Perl.
To be fair, PHP is unbelievably god-awful, so good for them. I guess a case can be made that it's not so much a "Web programming languages" as it is a "digital trainwreck".

Re:Does not support PHP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42569597)

To be fair, PHP is unbelievably god-awful, so good for them.

And yet Javascript is a good server side language?

captcha: nonsense

Re:Does not support PHP (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571991)

I was thinking the same. That, and Perl. To be fair, PHP is unbelievably god-awful, so good for them.

Some would say the same about Perl. 99% of the time, it's not the language but the fellow using it that makes it bad. (Admittedly, even I get annoyed at some PHP peculiarities from time to time, then I remember, it's what keeps me fed, and move on.)

Re:Does not support PHP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42573881)

There isn't a language that doesn't have some peculiarities. Every language out there was created for a reason, some languages doe one thing better others do another better.

Re:Does not support PHP (1)

dynamo (6127) | about a year and a half ago | (#42575543)

Perl seconded! What the hell, they are supporting Groovy but not perl?

Re:Does not support PHP (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569653)

It also doesn't support COBOL.

Re:Does not support PHP (3, Informative)

Evardsson (959228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569825)

That would probably be because the PHP-Java bridge [sourceforge.net] is a kludge and horribly inefficient. Having had occasion to use the bridge for a non-trivial project, I am actually ok with this Java-based server not supporting it.

That said, if you really want the headache, I am sure you can figure out a way to use the PHP-Java bridge to tie to your current PHP apps and use them as Java in the Vert.x server. I do have to say, though, I do pity anyone who has to do this.

Re:Does not support PHP (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42572115)

All the devs I know switched from php years ago. Ruby and Node are the languages of choice to write web apps.

Java = bad (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42569403)

end of this post

Java = great (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42569573)

Oracle = bad

Re:Java = bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570271)

noob.

end of this post.

Assumption is the mother of all fuckups (4, Insightful)

Shimbo (100005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569425)

Moral: if you are working on a FOSS project, make sure you have disclaimers in writing from the company you work for. Double if you're the project lead.

Re:Assumption is the mother of all fuckups (4, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569441)

Either way, if VMWare press the issue they will simply fork and go away, and VMWare will end as the leader of a deceased project.

Re:Assumption is the mother of all fuckups (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570147)

This is a great opportunity for a fork to give it a more meaningful name

Re:Assumption is the mother of all fuckups (3, Insightful)

Shimbo (100005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570197)

Either way, if VMWare press the issue they will simply fork and go away, and VMWare will end as the leader of a deceased project.

It depends how hardball VMware want to play it. If they assert ownership of the code, and decline to release it under an open source licence then they can pretty much kill the fork as well. "Oh sorry, the code you thought was Apache licenced, sorry he had no right to do that - it's ours."

Re:Assumption is the mother of all fuckups (3, Informative)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570479)

If they assert ownership of the code, and decline to release it under an open source licence then they can pretty much kill the fork as well.

a) Fortunately not because VMWare and Red Hat [google.com] have already made a posting otherwise.

b) Fortunately not because this is a public project and has been explicitly and openly discussed by a number of people from VMWare over a long time. In general, companies are liable for the things their employees do as part of their work. Especially if they knew about it or should have known about it. The only comeback they have is disciplinary action against the employee. Judges sometimes come down really hard on companies which try to wriggle out of this kind of thing.

c) Just think about it. If what you said was true, wouldn't Barings bank [wikipedia.org] just have said "no; sorry, rogue trader; give us back our stolen dollars". Don't think the tech industry will manage tricks the financial industry has never thought of.

Re:Assumption is the mother of all fuckups (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571143)

... they can pretty much kill the fork as well. "Oh sorry, the code you thought was Apache licenced, sorry he had no right to do that - it's ours."

Hah, I would like to see VMware try it. The code would be rewritten overnight and VMware would lose tons of karma, and probably some good employees as well. Not to mention the advice that would properly be given to prospective new hires: work for some less carnivorous company that might actually respect you and the community that allowed them to attain the lofty position they enjoy today.

Re:Assumption is the mother of all fuckups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42573479)

IANAL, but the same facts that VMWare would have to stipulate in order to claim the copyrights in the first place - i.e. that the developer was actually working as an employee of VMWare when he originated the project - might be sufficient to establish agency by estoppel [wikipedia.org] such that his act of releasing under the Apache license would be binding on VMWare.

Re:Assumption is the mother of all fuckups (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571171)

if VMWare press the issue they will simply fork and go away, and VMWare will end as the leader of a deceased project.

...and end up with a big fat oozing purple bruise right in the middle of their hitherto respectable karma.

Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569443)

... his employer at the time that he wrote it has ownership.

This sort of situation just highlights the need for people to get a paper trail. It'd be ideal if a person's word was their bond and you shouldn't need them to sign something to agree to it, but alas.... we live in a notably less than ideal world.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (4, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569579)

His employer can't have the ownership of the project because he never had any ownership over it. The project is licensed under Apache. They could only forcibly take the governance, but then again the project can be forked at will, and VMWare will end with just a name if they force the issue. There is nothing VMWare can do about it other than concede or hostilize the community and force a Branch. Either way VMWare loses.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569735)

That it is licensed under an Apache license has no bearing on who owns the copyright. Since he was working for VMWare at the time it was written, VMWare would hold the copyright on it unless there is something *IN WRRITING* from VMWare that says otherwise.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569857)

It is incredible how people like to talk about what they have absolutely no clue about. It is absurd to think that because my employee worked for someone else, I own this person's business of even part of it. Unless the person explicitly signed a contract giving me ownership in exchange of this work.

VMWare has no legal hold over the project. The project was founded as open source. They can even sue their employee for the time he used in a project whilst under their employment depending on the nature of their contract, but they hold absolutely no ownership or copyright on the project.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1, Flamebait)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570073)

It is absurd to think that because my employee worked for someone else, I own this person's business of even part of it. Unless the person explicitly signed a contract giving me ownership in exchange of this work. This is exactly what in most work contracts is written. Why? Because it is defined by law so! By repeating it again in the contract the employee should be aware of this. Ofc, at least in germany, you can write the exact opposite into the contract. But if you don't mention it at all, ALL WORK you do, REGARDLESS of on the job or AT YOUR SPARE TIME belongs to the EMPLOYER. And as germany copied this particular part of law from the USA I would really wonder if it is there different.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570293)

You fail to understand the situation. The contracts you mention gives right to the employer over anything that would otherwise be property of the employee while under its service. It can't possibly give to the employer property over something that is not owned by the employer, period. The employee having contributed with his time to a project does not give in anyway ownership of the project either to him or to his employer.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571285)

Look at it this way: those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Suppose we suddenly all got interested in the question of whether ESX is really an original work, and not derived in any way from Linux source?

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42572963)

The employee having contributed with his time to a project does not give in anyway ownership of the project either to him or to his employer.

If the employer paid him for that project, it most certainly does, without written evidence to the contrary.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (0)

KingMotley (944240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42573205)

Fred,
    I am going to assume that you are not a lawyer (God help you if you are), and you haven't taken any serious jobs. First, it's law. Second, as angel said, even though it doesn't need to be specifically stated in an employment contract, it usually is anyway just so that an employee can't feign ignorance of the law.

You may want to argue that this isn't how it should be, but that doesn't change the way it is. I'm not sure how it works in every field, but specifically, in the field of programming, ANY WORK done while you are under contract/employment is owned by your employer whether it is done at you place of work, at home, in your bathroom or anywhere else no matter if it was done before, during, after normal work hours, on a weekend, sick time, vacation, or holiday (actually, I'm not totally sure about on vacation, would have to double check with legal on that one) unless EXPLICITLY specified as an exclusion IN WRITING from your employer.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42573285)

ANY WORK done while you are under contract/employment is owned by your employer whether it is done at you place of work, at home, in your bathroom or anywhere else no matter if it was done before, during, after normal work hours, on a weekend, sick time, vacation, or holiday (actually, I'm not totally sure about on vacation, would have to double check with legal on that one) unless EXPLICITLY specified as an exclusion IN WRITING from your employer.

That's false. Unless you're in certain states in the USA where slavery has made a comeback.

Does not apply in other countries or states.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

eric_herm (1231134) | about a year and a half ago | (#42573561)

I am quite doubtful about the spare time part. Or then this would not be spare time anymore. If I work part time and contribute the other time to some project, you cannot at the same time pay me less and enjoy the benefit of a full time coder. There is the thing you do during your work, stuff you are being paid for and that ( depending on local laws and contract, cause that's not the same for all "creations" ), could ( and most of the time would ) be done for the company, so "belong" to the company. Then there is thing you do outside, and that's yours. People telling you otherwise just try to coerce into some kind of unfair practice, and put their own company at risk of someone suing them for that ( while most people wouldn't, I am pretty sure that some disgruntled ex worker would think of it sooner or later, that's just statistics, if you annoy enough people, your errors will soon become fatal ).

Now, if you work full time on a side project during work hour without being instructed, you would be fired because you do not do your job, but that's all. If you work on a concurrent project, then this could be a problem of loyalty ( not sure if that's a offence in every country, not even how that is important in mine ).

But asserting "you used the company laptop to work on a project in the evening so it belong to use" is likely not gonna fly. A laptop is not some specialized hardware nowadays. If you used the big cluster of the company, this may be problematic ( improper use of company resources ), but that's doesn't automatically translate to "all your base belong to us" ( especially in more specific case of writing papers, doing research, where I think this would be much more a grey area, even if from what I have seen, the various research institute have no problem paying someone for 3 years and letting him go do a patent and a company after based on the work he did ).

And the idea of "I use something of the company so it belong to me" would not work, if I use my personal laptop to work on company project, that doesn't make me the owner of their code.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42573953)

It is about intellectual property/copyright not whose laptop you use.

A employer expects you to put all your effort into the work he pays you for. So none of your brilliant ideas you have at work are your own (look at patent law e.g.)

So he does not want you to use your ideas to work "at home" ...

the various research institute have no problem paying someone for 3 years and letting him go do a patent and a company after based on the work he did
Depends if that institute has HIRD him or if he is a student there.
That "they have no problem" does not mean, they have no right. Just read /. history postings about patent stuff, e.g. Lemple Ziff compression.

especially in more specific case of writing papers, doing research, where I think this would be much more a grey area
No there is no grey area at all. thee are laws that EXACTLY define how this is handeld.

Sorry, if you are in the programming business I strongly suggest you get a very basic lesson about copyright law, ip laws and employment laws.

Everything a laymen assumes is most of the time WRONG.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42576653)

Dude, whoever signs a contract, where stuff he/she does on his/her spare time belongs to someone else is a fucking idiot!

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570123)

If he wrote it while working for VMWare, then unless there is written proof that VMWare agreed to allow him to retain ownership, the project is VMWare's, period. It doesn't give them license to own part of another company, because the employee wouldn't have the right to bring the project to another company in the first place. If VMWare wanted to change the license on the project, as the lawful copyright holder, they could even do that.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570269)

It is incredible how dense you can be. If you decide to build a house for me in my property, while employed in your current house building company the house is still mine in the end, unless I sign a contract with you or with your employer saying otherwise. He was never the owner of the project, never held the rights over the project, and so neither the company.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

samkass (174571) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570617)

Unless they explicitly sign it over, everyone has copyright over any creative work they contribute (and coding is creative). However, most employers (in the US) require employees to sign a contract stipulating that the employer gets the copyright assigned to them automatically. If this developer ALSO signed over the copyright to the open source project, then he signed it away twice and it's up to the courts to decide which contract takes precedence.

So VMWare probably has a reasonable legal claim to the copyright of any source written while under their employ, and can thus change the licensing terms at any time, and even claim that the previous license was never valid. Of course that's trying to close the barn door a little late, so as others have said as a practical matter it makes little sense for VMWare to go nuclear here. But calling people dense for making valid points is unhelpful.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (2)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570669)

It would be nice if anyone RTFA before posting. The project is explicitly registered as a public domain project under Apache license. The only thing that is registered in the name of VMWare is the trademark, the name Vert.x, and that is all this, and the domains associated to it are everything they were able to claim, which you would know had you read the article.

Actually they already decided to go and give the administrative control of the groups back to Tim Fox, but even after VMWare was forced to withdraw after stupidly trying to force their hand, it is not sure that the community will let them get away with it. The talk about forking is not over yet.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42572361)

The project is explicitly registered as a public domain project under Apache license.

The terms "public domain" and "license" are mutually exclusive. If something is truly in the public domain, no license is needed to do whatever one wants to with it. However, I actually did RTFA, and nowhere did I see anything that indicated the project is public domain in any way, shape, or form.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42573233)

It would be nice if people who posted had a clue about what they were talking about before posting drivel. You are wrong. It doesn't matter what the license was. The license was invalid, and the employee had absolutely no right to distribute stuff under it.

I can't walk into my office after hours, take all the furniture out of it, place it on the front lawn and have a garage sale. When the police stop by they aren't going to let people walk away with the stuff, they are going to grab it back and give it back to it's rightful owners. Just because I placed a sign on the stuff that said, "It can be yours for free, so long as you give it away when you are finished with it" doesn't change anything.

In addition to not knowing employment law, I see you don't know anything about copyright law either since you said "The project is explicitly registered as a public domain project under Apache license", which makes absolutely no sense. BTW, I have a bridge to sell you for free for $5,000.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571531)

Yes, there is a good chance that you are correct. However, if VMWare changed the license, that could only apply to the parts that were written by Tim Fox (or another VMWare employee) AND would not effect the license on copies that are already released. That is, they would be unable to revoke the Apache license on the project as it exists currently. Which means that someone (Tim Fox, now that he no longer works for VMWare) could fork the project.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42574855)

Hmm.... yes. Good point. How much of it *was* written by Fox or other VMWare employees?

Unfortunately, this experience will probably convince VMWare never to allow an employee to use open source license on a future project ever again.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570863)

According to the law, VMWare owns the code he worked on in the office or on the clock. THe contract is for extra work off the clock.

THe question is was it produced at work and especially if VMWare paid him to write it. If the answer is yes then any sane judge would side with VMWare. I believe since VMWare was part of the project that he was paid to write it. Contract or not it is their property.

If I am wrong feel free to reply back. If he did this at home for example then yes, they can kiss his lawyers ass.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (2)

Fjandr (66656) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571371)

Whether WMWare owns copyright or not is irrelevant. VMWare was aware of, and consented to, the licensing terms the code was publicly released under. They can stop contributing new code, but they cannot remove the code already released. Their ownership interest going forward is 100% irrelevant.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

deKernel (65640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42577699)

Actually VMWare does possibly have a legal hold on the code base. The best instance of this if he worked on the code while getting paid by VMWare during normal business hours which more than likely stated in his work contract that anything did while working for them is owned by them.
The one grey area would be is if he worked on it off-hours AND not using ANY VMWare equipment which was not covered in the article so at this point, everyone who thinks they know the answer is/could be wrong since all the pertinent details aren't know right now.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

quetwo (1203948) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570481)

It all depends... If he was working on the project as a directive of his job at VMWare, then the project was done as a work-for-hire contract, and the copyright could belong to VMWare. If he was doing it in his free time, and VMWare simply used it, then it becomes muddier.

If he had it in his contract that any IP generated by him while employed at VMWare, that could shift the copyright to VMWare. If his contract says they get an automatic license to any IP generated then he owns the copyright. If it is not in his contract at all, then it is for the courts to figure out -- but generally they would assume that he retains the rights for the IP.

I just went through this with my employer and some contributions I made to Apache. I made my employer sign an agreement where I keep the rights to my own IP before I submitted anything to them (as required by the Apache by-laws).

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570711)

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

HJED (1304957) | about a year and a half ago | (#42572693)

Only if he was working on it in his employers time or on his employers equipment, what he does in his personal time is his own private property. E.g. if I write a book whilst being employed by employer dosen't own the book.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42569753)

If he was working for them at the time he wrote it, then he probably couldn't legally open-source it without their permission.
If he did that, then the legal status of every copy is in question. It's ultimately the copyright holder's decision.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569883)

Sorry, but that is just false. Depending on the contract they have with the employee, they can claim ownership over anything he has ownership over. They can't claim ownership over something just because he sued his time on it. If I decide to wash your garden everyday for free, even with your consent or at your request, that does not give me claim over your house.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42569933)

they can claim ownership over anything he has ownership over.

Of course they can claim anything. I doubt if knowing playing an employee to work on an open source project and then demanding that he "return" it to them is enforceable at all.

VMWare is coming off like idiots here that don't understand forking.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571339)

VMWare is coming off like idiots here that don't understand forking.

...and who also apparently do not understand PR, community relations, morality, gratitude or how to keep their fat hands in their collective pockets where they belong.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570715)

If I decide to wash your garden everyday for free

Why would anyone ever wash a garden?

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570899)

I think you have it backwards.

I think it is the gardener claiming he owns your plants because he planted them and provided care and did all teh work. But the law is on your side because he provided the labor on your property. It is owned by you! Same principle with VMWare.

Of course we do not know all the details but what we do know is VMWare was part of the project, and this man worked for them at the same time. It seems to me that is highly likely he was paid to do it by VMware just on that evidence as VMWare was aware of it and kept paying him.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570931)

RTFA.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42573243)

You are wrong. Keep posting garbage.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

HJED (1304957) | about a year and a half ago | (#42572715)

Depends if he did whilst he was "on the clock" or using his employers equipment, if he didn't then he would definatly retain ownership as it would be like someone writing a book, there employer dosen't get ownership. If he was doing it in his employers time or using their equipment it becomes murkey and if he was getting paid to do it then the copyright probably belongs to the employer.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42572985)

Depends if he did whilst he was "on the clock" or using his employers equipment, if he didn't then he would definatly retain ownership

No... not definitely. It depends largely on what state laws allows, and even then can depend on whether the employer has agreed to allow the employee to do work that could arguably compete with the employer.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

forrestt (267374) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569895)

IANAL...He was their agent, and I believe that means that anything he did during the exercise of his duties they are responsible for. If they don't like his actions, they can dismiss him, but I don't think that has any bearing on the openness of the code.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570161)

Or better yet, don't use any corporate resources in developing this. Do it on your own time, on your own computer which stays w/ ya once you quit the job, and the company has no claims whatsoever over what you did.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (2)

Deltaspectre (796409) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570643)

Unfortunately in the US at least, that's on a state by state basis, with the minority actually letting you separate work projects from out of work projects.

List of states and relevant laws: http://answers.onstartups.com/a/20126 [onstartups.com]

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (3, Interesting)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571383)

Or better yet, don't use any corporate resources in developing this. Do it on your own time, on your own computer which stays w/ ya once you quit the job, and the company has no claims whatsoever over what you did.

Or carry on all your work in a highly public way (as in this case). If you do open source work on company time, as many do with the full knowledge of their manager and/or employer, then a thing called estoppel [wikipedia.org] kicks in. That means, if you are doing public work and your employer knows about it but does not tell you to stop, or on the contrary, expresses approval, it means you have tacit agreement to carry on in the way that both you and your employer are presenting themselves to the world. Or in other words, if it walks like an open source project and quacks like an open source project, it's an open source project, and in absence of any specific agreement to the contrary, that cannot be undone at the whim of an employer.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42573091)

It can be an open source project, but the copyright still belongs to the company. Without written permission to show the contrary, the employee does not have any ownership of the projects he or she worked on while under their employ, nor authority to transfer ownership to anyone else.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#42573513)

It can be an open source project, but the copyright still belongs to the company. Without written permission to show the contrary, the employee does not have any ownership of the projects he or she worked on while under their employ, nor authority to transfer ownership to anyone else.

That's just FUD. What matters is what the distribution license says, not who owns the copyright. Anyway, I don't think VMware will be stupid enough to argue about who owns the copyrights. In that direction lies a much worse bruising than they already got. Remember, VMware needs the community a lot more than the community needs VMware.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42574799)

First of all, who owns the copyright *ALWAYS* matters. The distribution license only states who has permission to copy the work. It does not override copyright.

Secondly, VMWare already *ARE* stupid enough to argue about who owns copyrights. The vert.x project *DOES* belong to them. The author can, if he chooses, create a fork of the project and call it something else, although he should probably best do so quickly, before VMWare changes the license (although such a change would not be retroactive, it would still apply to the current release from that time forward, and given that they appear to be arguing about this anyways, it wouldn't surprise me if they did).

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42577467)

And if you look at the "Public Stupid Beating" that Oracle has received... they may own the copyright to a PUBLIC software which can (and will) BY LICENSE forked and begun ANEW... at a different place with a different name and the herd of public resources migrates there leaving, the copyright holder with a virtually empty bag of unfed ego. This is the magic that is open source. Once started its like gravitational collapse... it runs on its own steam and its damn hard to stop. It is in fact one of the best cures for corporate douche baggery. Truth is, I see Open Source as something of a pry bar, to break the whole corporate model apart. The beauty is that its not hostile to Corporate practices in the least, in fact Corporations understand that they need a uniform, reliable, robust infrastructure to succeed and the fact that they don't have to pay for it is simply awesome. They don't see the poison in the pill though, the magic coming in the form of people everywhere seeing the critical value of having globally accessible resources that all human beings need to function, and thrive, a growing meritocracy subsumes the existing profit model. Its stealth, subversive and very clandestine, but I think its the shape of the future and I love the fact that its quietly causing havoc with business as usual.

Its time for the species to give up childish behavior and engineering a real social operating system that uses what works and discards what doesn't. I figure we're maybe a hundred years over due. The corporate model is a cancer doomed to failure, best it die now before it drags us all down with it.

Re:Unless it's it writing elsewhere.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42571883)

This is the genius of Google's "20% time", free food, onsite everything. They know people will work on random pet projects from time to time, so they make it attractive to do at work where they automatically own it. These "perks" are a workaround for California's labor laws so Google owns all your thoughts and ideas.

And what if you did actually do it all outside of work? It's civil so they probably just need a preponderance of evidence, and just by having 20% time they make it "more likely" that you must have done some of it at work. Basically if you work for Google you better have videos documenting 100% of the development happening outside of work or Google will own it.

see also the recent openswan / libreswan (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42569479)

See also Paul Wouters' battle over openswan which ended up in a new fork libreswan.

Resignation from Openswan [nohats.ca]

Paul Wouters now also seems to work for Red Hat

Just uninstalled Java (2, Funny)

gtirloni (1531285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569515)

Sorry.

Re:Just uninstalled Java (1, Offtopic)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569807)

I just uninstalled Japanese!

Re:Just uninstalled Java (1)

knarf (34928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570505)

Why? While it is certainly a good idea to get rid of the JVM plugin to whatever browser you happen to be using I don't see the need to remove the JVM itself. Yes, there are bugs there, I know. That is why I don't run just anything I find on the 'net. Just like I don't run just anything I find on the 'net on my Linux machines or Android phones/tablets.

Re:Just uninstalled Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42572869)

Still. Whenever the name of the thing starts with a capital J, I'm wary.

Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42569559)

LOL!

Who Controls Vert.x (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569761)

The Outer Limits?

Nothing new under the Sun (4, Informative)

nickmalthus (972450) | about a year and a half ago | (#42569781)

There is precedence for this, it happened before with the Sun OpenDS [wikipedia.org] and the Sun/Oracle Hudson [wikipedia.org] Open Source projects. When the contest of ownership comes down to project developers and corporate lawyers the lawyers usually win the legal battle but the developers win the community battle due to forking.

Re:Nothing new under the Sun (3, Funny)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571087)

So does that mean that VMWare will soon be bought by Oracle?

Re:Nothing new under the Sun (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571647)

So does that mean that VMWare will soon be bought by Oracle?

No, anything but that. VMware works.

Re:Nothing new under the Sun (1)

eric_herm (1231134) | about a year and a half ago | (#42573585)

yeah and they are much more innovative that Oracle *cough* paying for virtual memory *cough*

Re:Nothing new under the Sun (1)

Stu101 (1031686) | about a year and a half ago | (#42573623)

Dude, keep up with the times. The VRAM tax no longer exists. VMWare themselves admitted it was a bum move and backtracked.

GPL license (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570005)

Suddenly the GPL license doesn't seem that bad after all.

Re:GPL license (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570083)

It does not matter which license you choose.
In the end it comes down to the question: did the developer (employee) had any right at all to publish it 8under what license whatsoever).

What is Vert.x? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570159)

What the fuck is Vert.x and why should I care about it?

Re:What is Vert.x? (2)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570301)

From a quick look, it seems to be some FastCGI-like API with bindings for various programming languages.
You couldn't deduce that at all from the summary.

Re:What is Vert.x? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570303)

you shouldn't its nothing of worth

Re:What is Vert.x? (1)

segfault_0 (181690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571913)

It's just an event driven application architecture that uses asynchronous I/O to provide efficiency. It incorporates technologies like Netty and Hazelcast to provide extremely simple, highly-concurrent applications that can handle lots of connections - so its good for building services, i.e http services.

Anyone who tells you it's not worth much doesn't know their head from a hole in ground. It's a JVM based take on an idea whose time has come. You should check out the background on Node.js to see what all the talk is about.

du wuht? (1, Funny)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570321)

A web framework based on Java? Isn't that kind of like a network appliance based on Windows?

Re:du wuht? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570831)

In practical terms, there's nothing out there BUT web frameworks based on Java. The sad part is how clueless Slashdot has become (my sarcastic comment below actually got to +1 which has never happened before). Oh well. At least Slashdot crowd never does intersect with real life software development.

Re:du wuht? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42571479)

A web framework based on Java? Isn't that kind of like a network appliance based on Windows?

Finding a Java web framework would be like finding a network appliance based on Linux...

Hey moderators, if you don't have any experience with IT, GTFO this page, seriously.

Don't you read the news? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570445)

It's Java-based and should be banned by every user considering themselves half computer literate.

Re:Don't you read the news? (2)

segfault_0 (181690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571933)

Why don't you enlighten us with your literacy and tell us why the JVM isn't one of the most influential and important software inventions in the past 20 years. I'd personally love to hear your reasoning (read: i think you're full of shit).

Re:Don't you read the news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42572405)

[whoosh]

You owe me a new keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42573113)

"the JVM [is] one of the most influential and important software inventions in the past 20 years"

Really funny indeed.

Re:Don't you read the news? (1)

HJED (1304957) | about a year and a half ago | (#42572745)

About the browser plugin yeah, but it sounds like you only read the headlines.
That "0-day" only applies to java applets running in browser plugins (and in my experience are generally slow and buggy), not to jave programs especially ones running vertified code on servers.

Lol @ the hate for java (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42570883)

Java is inherently secure, despite recent press, which mostly centers around desktop browser plugins.

A lot of huge web sites run nothing but java.

who controls what gets committed and released? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42570927)

there's your answer right there.
so who controls the repo considered official?

so if vmware controls the website they control it. doesn't mean they can keep anyone else from releasing a version and publishing on a less hipstery domain than .io..

Clear case of VMWare being evil. (-1, Flamebait)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#42571071)

This is a clear case of VMWare doing evil. So does this new, distasteful corporate direction have something to do with the arrival of Pat "tick tock crush AMD by fair means or foul" Gelsinger?

Re:Clear case of VMWare being evil. (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#42573505)

This is a clear case of VMWare doing evil. So does this new, distasteful corporate direction have something to do with the arrival of Pat "tick tock crush AMD by fair means or foul" Gelsinger?

Oh wow, VMware spinmods. This is sad. I somehow got the impression that VMware employees are made of better ethical stuff than the likes of Apple or Microsoft. Maybe I was just wrong about that. Advice to you VMware people: if you don't want to really piss off the community, then watch what you do. Don't send out the spinmods.

Re:Clear case of VMWare being evil. (1)

eric_herm (1231134) | about a year and a half ago | (#42573593)

Thinking that a company ( ie, a big group of human ) is acting a definite and concerted way is weird and too simplistic. Almost as weird and simplistic as the concept of universal evil ( ie, "doing evil" could perfectly mean something for some specific case, or say much less for some others, depending on the point of view ).
Heck, there is a reason why philosophers discussed of moral for centuries...

so "vmware is doing evil" can for sure only be a over simplifcation that doesn't reflect the reality except for a specific view, and so would be for sure incorrect for people. IE, being open to interpretation and on a clear emotional level is the perfect ground for flame, hence ( at the time i write this ) the "flamebait" score

Re:Clear case of VMWare being evil. (1)

haruchai (17472) | about a year and a half ago | (#42574589)

Does that reasoning also apply to countries (aka much bigger group of humans)?

Re:Clear case of VMWare being evil. (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42577617)

People talk like there are moral absolutes, these are cultural constructs sitting on top of biological imperatives. Jeeze. There are games that people play. The corporate game is based on profit and is by design war-like right up to and including killing large numbers of people who get in your way (read about mercenaries hired by Shell Oil to wipe out entire African Villages to get what they wanted.) There are other games, like the game called society. These two games are often at odds with one another, and because one is predicated on the common good and the other is predicates on what's good for the corporation it is easy to see those looking from a social context getting a wee bit fussy about the practices of corporations.

This is especially true when corporations choose Sociopaths as their Corporate Officers. Corporations do behave monolithically. That is to say, that Corporations tend to have consistent cultures (unless they consciously prevent such cultures from forming which is unlikely because these cultures tend to be powerful motivators.) The cultures of a corporation are typically managed by its leaders (not always, but most often coming from the Corporate Officers.) So a business wide lack of respect for people, bigotry, sexism, greed, lawlessness or corruption, usually points to a board that is by most social norms EVIL. Another way of saying this is EVIL is as EVIL does. A lot of corporations have chosen to use human beings like toilet paper, because they think its good for the bottom line. These folks have no appreciation for critical dangers presented by a moral bankruptcy. The good news is that sooner or later, society tends to crush these entities. There are sadly gross exceptions.

Runs atop the jvm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42573085)

Runs on top of the jvm, so who cares? Let it die.

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