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Chapter 11: Intellectual Property


Opening Quote  

The quote "In order to achieve perfection, a man would need a coldness that is alien to man, and then he would lack the human heart with which to love his own perfection" was taken from The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa. It's one of my favorite books in my personal library.

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Cover of the Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

Research Agreement

My former employer, Ghent University and Actuate signed a research agreement that allowed me to review the IP of iText.
Cover page of the research agreement between Ghent University and Actuate

IP Review

This is the oldest version of my slide deck on the IP review I did for Actuate, IBM, and the Eclipse Foundation:

If you want to know what a Contributor License Agreement is about, take a look at this iText CLA (this may not be the latest version).

All former links to JavaWorld are now redirected to InfoWorld, including Java Tip #128.

The IntHashtable class is still available on the ACME website. The tagline of the site is "Purveyors of fine freeware since 1972. On the net since 1991" and it still has that nineties look (very similar to what the initial iText website looked like).
screenshot website

A fragment from the paper I wrote to get tenure at Ghent University that explains that the difference between my first PDF library rugPDF and my second PDF library iText was also reflected in the package names. Instead of*, I used com.lowagie.text.pdf.*, also "to avoid any possible dispute about the intellectual property of the library".
fragment paper about the difference between rugPdf and iText
If you understand Dutch, you'll notice a snarky comment. It reflected the frustrations I described in chapter 7.

License Compatibility

To explain license compatibility I usually show a diagram that is based on The Free-Libre / Open Source Software (FLOSS) License Slide by David Wheeler
FOSS License slide David Wheeler

Talks about IP and Legal

In the past, I've been at different developer events informing them what they should know about IP and Legal. This is the mail informing me that my proposal for a JavaOne talk was accepted, and some messages that were tweeted during that talk.
JavaOne talk approved
Tweet sent during my JavaOne talk
Tweet sent during my JavaOne talk
Tweet sent during my JavaOne talk

I gave a similar talk at the Open Source India Days.

The full version of the talk is available on YouTube:

Book Quotes  

  • My job for Actuate and the Eclipse Foundation included examining six years’ worth of log files to compile a list of all the developers who contributed a snippet of code.
  • Be aware that different countries may have different copyright laws. That can complicate things.


  • In the first paragraph of page 133, I wrote that the Eclipse Foundation released Callisto in 2016; that should have been 2006. This error was reported by Tom Klaasen.

Soundtrack for this Chapter  

I listen to music, but my taste in music is questionable. I've selected a handful of songs for every chapters. Sometimes, there's a link to the chapter, sometimes I just like the song.

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