More license fun

You know, reading rules and EULAs is pretty important these days. Lately, there was a lot of discussion in the Finnish blogosphere about a Finnish blog aggregator claiming that they can reuse your blog content at will, if you use their service (which they changed pretty rapidly once the bloggers started complaining - nevertheless I find it rather worrying that they chose to try to smuggle it in anyway).

I got recently an invitation to the Day software JCR Cup 2008. I was considering trying to port JSPWiki to use their JCR implementation (as it would be fun and beneficial for everybody), but a quick look at the rules convinced me otherwise:

With regard to an entry you submit as part of the Contest, you grant Day a worldwide, perpetual, fully paid-up, exclusive license to make, sell, or use the technology related thereto, including but not limited to the software, algorithms, techniques, concepts, etc., associated with the entry.

The words "exclusive" and "associated with the entry" are the key ingredients here: The way I read this is that "If you do anything with our software, and make the mistake of submitting it to our contest, WE OWN IT AND MAKE LOTS OF MONEY WITH IT AND YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT, NYAH!"

It also means that there's no way I could ever submit JSPWiki+JCR combo into this competition, since I don't own the copyright of the full JSPWiki code base anymore, so I couldn't possibly even abide by the rules (as it most certainly would be "associated", but it's not my code). Besides, that kind of contest rules put a real damper on any ideas I might have. This kind of a thing is most likely targeted at a young hacker audience, who just want the Macbook Pro. But I'd save the real innovations for other competitions...

Of course companies can do any sort of competitions they want. Let this be just an example as to why it is a good thing to read and understand the competition rules before participating... Or you might end up doing something you regret.


Well, this is not new. I remember a competition ten years or so ago. The competition was to create a good black-and-white mobile phone logo (this was when having a picture, any picture, on your phone was luxury) with some web tools.

Only catch, the submitted pictures were wholly made property of the organizing company. The combined worth of the prices was tens of thousands of marks - and the pictures were sold to the phones at something like 3 marks each.

In other words, the company just wanted pics to sell and not to pay anything real for them. No, I didn't even think of participating...

--Pare, 26-May-2008

Hi Janne

Many thanks for pointing out this issue and your comments. Indeed, it was not our intention to demand such terms. We will neither re-use, nor extend nor sell a submitted entry. Unfortunately, our product management team overlooked that licensing section.

We already changed that section. The terms now comply with the purpose of the Day JCR Cup that aims to promote state-of-the-art content repository technology and a rapid application development framework, gather feedback from the developers' community, present the best applications submitted by the participants and announce a winner.

We appreciate the open source community communication in helping us uncover what in a busy world we overlooked. Not just on the code side. And we look forward to further constructive interactions.

We apologize for the mistake and we thank you once again for having provided valuable feedback.

The Day JCR Cup Team

PS. Please check the updated rules:

--Greg Klebus, 29-May-2008

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"Main_blogentry_260508_1" last changed on 26-May-2008 13:46:10 EEST by JanneJalkanen.
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