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Author Topic: Network protocol overview doc  (Read 5688 times)
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August 15, 2010, 07:23:25 AM
 #21

This thread is depressing. I am a newb. Why isn't this info created at the same time as the program? Why can't Satoshi just rattle it off?

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August 15, 2010, 03:03:01 PM
 #22

This thread is depressing. I am a newb. Why isn't this info created at the same time as the program? Why can't Satoshi just rattle it off?
I'd be surprised if he couldn't, or if he didn't have his own documentation somewhere in a notebook that he's using for an ashtray.Wink(I have no idea if Satoshi smokes and presume that he doesn't)
Personally, when working on an open source project, I find it hard to believe that any documents relating to the protocol could cause any sort of dispute over their authorship, especially when we have such fine resources as Creative Commons.  I don't think anyone would have any problems with that.

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August 15, 2010, 05:32:00 PM
 #23

Jgarzik's been doing a lot of good with his patches. I for one have incorporated his GetBlock and ListTransactions patches into my unofficial builds.

That said, I guess we do need to clarify the legal status of everything he's made now. Jgarzik, could you please publish a license or at least go on record with your feelings about copying and/or modifying your works? Do you require attribution?

If you don't, a lot of people (myself include) will naively (and possibly incorrectly) assume that you intend all of your code and documentation to be released under a permissive (MIT or BSD-style) license.

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August 15, 2010, 05:51:14 PM
 #24

Jgarzik's been doing a lot of good with his patches. I for one have incorporated his GetBlock and ListTransactions patches into my unofficial builds.

That said, I guess we do need to clarify the legal status of everything he's made now. Jgarzik, could you please publish a license or at least go on record with your feelings about copying and/or modifying your works? Do you require attribution?

If you don't, a lot of people (myself include) will naively (and possibly incorrectly) assume that you intend all of your code and documentation to be released under a permissive (MIT or BSD-style) license.

All of the code I've released is under the same license as bitcoin itself.  Copy away, it's open source Smiley

I'm undecided about the documentation, but RHorning is way out there:  it's ridiculous to think anyone will "take over" the protocol by writing a document and keeping it on their own website.

As long as Satoshi distributes the code, he "owns" the network protocol, and I hope it stays that way!

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August 15, 2010, 06:20:47 PM
 #25

Jgarzik's been doing a lot of good with his patches. I for one have incorporated his GetBlock and ListTransactions patches into my unofficial builds.

That said, I guess we do need to clarify the legal status of everything he's made now. Jgarzik, could you please publish a license or at least go on record with your feelings about copying and/or modifying your works? Do you require attribution?

If you don't, a lot of people (myself include) will naively (and possibly incorrectly) assume that you intend all of your code and documentation to be released under a permissive (MIT or BSD-style) license.

All of the code I've released is under the same license as bitcoin itself.  Copy away, it's open source Smiley

I'm undecided about the documentation, but RHorning is way out there:  it's ridiculous to think anyone will "take over" the protocol by writing a document and keeping it on their own website.

As long as Satoshi distributes the code, he "owns" the network protocol, and I hope it stays that way!
Thanks for the code.

I think documentation should be released under some permissive open-source style license. That way others can correct potential mistakes, add info that you left off, etc etc and publish it back under the same license. Essentially, we should apply the FOSS philosophy to documentation.

That said, I agree that you have the right to prevent people from copying your works exactly if you so choose. You really can't stop them from using it to produce a derivative work, though - after all, how would you know they didn't just read the code themselves?

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August 15, 2010, 06:48:52 PM
 #26

I think documentation should be released under some permissive open-source style license. That way others can correct potential mistakes, add info that you left off, etc etc and publish it back under the same license. Essentially, we should apply the FOSS philosophy to documentation.

Sound exactly like creative commons.

Sorry, ignore that, it sounds far more confrontational than I intended it.

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August 16, 2010, 07:37:13 AM
 #27

All of the code I've released is under the same license as bitcoin itself.  Copy away, it's open source Smiley

I'm undecided about the documentation, but RHorning is way out there:  it's ridiculous to think anyone will "take over" the protocol by writing a document and keeping it on their own website.

As long as Satoshi distributes the code, he "owns" the network protocol, and I hope it stays that way!

I'm just trying to point out one of the problems of a BSD-type license vs. something more substantial like the GPL or Creative Commons suite of licenses, that keep this sort of thing from happening.  I was merely trying to point out that such an effort to claim an "all rights reserved" copyright authority could turn into a tar pit legally if somebody wanted to be a real jerk.  They might not succeed in the long run and they would certainly get the community ticked off at them in a major way if they tried, but it could be a major mess.

I've seen copyright tricks done with GPL source code that would boggle your mind and other legal tricks that I would have thought to be absurd even with "open source" content.

I'm glad that you've decided to release this under the "same license as bitcoin itself".... which BTW doesn't require "permission" to copy or to reuse in any other manner.  I'll ignore the problems of the "advertising clause" for the moment, which has a long history of discussion within the open source/free software copyright community itself that isn't worth getting into on this thread.  Citation of the source of the information is something ethical and should be encouraged anyway.

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August 16, 2010, 07:48:24 AM
 #28

I'm glad that you've decided to release this under the "same license as bitcoin itself"....

source code patches != documentation


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August 16, 2010, 08:40:00 AM
 #29

I'm glad that you've decided to release this under the "same license as bitcoin itself"....

source code patches != documentation
What does != mean? He obviously just misread you statement. Couldn't you have simply pointed it out kindly instead of replying in crypto computer jargon? Gosh, you're so rude!

RHorning, here it is again, edited and with emphasis added... by me. Don't you worry jgarzik, I'm not trying to take credit for the formatting of your copywroten post.
Copy away, it's open source Smiley

I'm undecided about the documentation, but RHorning is way out there:  it's ridiculous...!

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August 16, 2010, 09:02:51 AM
 #30

NewLibertyStandard: It is rather obnoxious/annoying to produce troll-liek posts however strongly you feel one way or the other.  Not everyone pursues same choices and there should be acceptance of choices of others even if they conflict with or otherwise are bother you in some fashion.  Also, posting in such a way is embarrassing for some of us as it presents a kind of immature or premature path of discussion.
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August 16, 2010, 10:08:49 AM
 #31

I'm glad that you've decided to release this under the "same license as bitcoin itself"....

source code patches != documentation
What does != mean? He obviously just misread you statement. Couldn't you have simply pointed it out kindly instead of replying in crypto computer jargon? Gosh, you're so rude!

RHorning, here it is again, edited and with emphasis added... by me. Don't you worry jgarzik, I'm not trying to take credit for the formatting of your copywroten post.

Who is being the troll here?  I'm not trying to take credit for the work of others, but at the same time I am insisting that documentation should also be done as a copyleft arrangement.... particularly when the source of that documentation is from a copyleft document too, namely the source code for Bitcoins in this case.

You think I'm being ridiculous here when what I'm trying to do is nail down copyright on something that I believe should be open source, and by tying it up in this fashion through a purely proprietary copyright (aka "all rights reserved") ruins good-faith efforts for the rest of us.  Had this software been released under a GPL license, it wouldn't even be a question:  a derivative documentation effort like this simply couldn't assert copyright in this fashion.

I guess what I'm asking here is if jgarzik is going to sue my ass off if I try to put together some documentation that includes any of the information that he presented with his own documentation effort by asserting an "all rights reserved" and "Please do not copy my works without permission".  I don't feel that I owe him anything other than simply giving him credit, but if he insists upon this demand for permission first, I don't know how else to proceed.  I certainly don't want to insist that anybody else using the documentation I might produce must ask jgarzik for "permission" if they want to copy the stuff I wrote.... merely because it happens to include some of this information even if I derived most of it from the source code and my own investigations too.

Since most of this is factual information and other than purely the formatting of the information, it may not even be copyrightable in the first place.  In which case demanding permission is a moot issue and unnecessary.

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August 16, 2010, 11:42:40 AM
 #32

Basically what seems to be uncomfirmed and is being delayed is jgarzik's written indication of licensing for the documentation.

jgarzik: Will you provide this information?  If not within your next post in this thread, I will be certain to delete the contents in the wiki post and request that an admin/mod delete the wiki page entirely so that it is a little bit more difficult for it to be used as a reference for further developments.  This should help to prevent usage of the documentation produced and publicized by you and prevent any legality that may otherwise be pursued by you or anyone else in this matter.

If necessary, perhaps the protocol can be altered slightly to accomodate for documentation of the protocol in a way that is different from that of jgarzik's documentation and thus a kind of documentation can be produced by someone else so that its it not similar to or deemed a derivative and can be established as a unique work and hopefully this is done by someone who does not pursue a similar claim of ownership causing even further discussion to take place.  I am uncertain of whether or not this is necessary, but it seems to be a kind of solution that can resolve the matter rather quickly.
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August 16, 2010, 02:01:53 PM
 #33

Basically what seems to be uncomfirmed and is being delayed is jgarzik's written indication of licensing for the documentation.

jgarzik: Will you provide this information?  If not within your next post in this thread, I will be certain to delete the contents in the wiki post and request that an admin/mod delete the wiki page entirely so that it is a little bit more difficult for it to be used as a reference for further developments.  This should help to prevent usage of the documentation produced and publicized by you and prevent any legality that may otherwise be pursued by you or anyone else in this matter.

If necessary, perhaps the protocol can be altered slightly to accomodate for documentation of the protocol in a way that is different from that of jgarzik's documentation and thus a kind of documentation can be produced by someone else so that its it not similar to or deemed a derivative and can be established as a unique work and hopefully this is done by someone who does not pursue a similar claim of ownership causing even further discussion to take place.  I am uncertain of whether or not this is necessary, but it seems to be a kind of solution that can resolve the matter rather quickly.

Just do it.  It's been a day now and despite several requests that he release the documentation under Creative Commons, he hasn't actually moved to do anything except cause more drama.  If he doesn't want to play nicely, then we just need to walk away.  Lets just find someone who's willing to do what is necessary in order to keep everything free as in beer.  We don't have to do anything to the protocol, just have someone else document it.  If the documentation comes out exactly the same, then that's proof that he doesn't have a copyright, as stated earlier in this thread.

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August 16, 2010, 06:11:06 PM
 #34

jgarzik: Will you provide this information?  If not within your next post in this thread, I will be certain to delete the contents in the wiki post and request that an admin/mod delete the wiki page entirely so that it is a little bit more difficult for it to be used as a reference for further developments.  This should help to prevent usage of the documentation produced and publicized by you and prevent any legality that may otherwise be pursued by you or anyone else in this matter.

It is the standard "license" afforded by the law and the Berne Convention, attached to all copyrighted works -- one must obtain permission from the author before copying.  And I have not given permission.

Mainly, I have not given permission because it is woefully incomplete, I have some plans for that doc, and it was not only illegal but disrespectful to copy it without asking first.  Still waiting for a simple acknowledgement that it was wrong, which would make me a lot more amenable to a creative commons license.

But as long as the community blatantly endorses illegal theft of copyrighted works, the motivation to cooperate is rather low.


If necessary, perhaps the protocol can be altered slightly to accomodate for documentation of the protocol in a way that is different from that of jgarzik's documentation and thus a kind of documentation can be produced by someone else so that its it not similar to or deemed a derivative and can be established as a unique work and hopefully this is done by someone who does not pursue a similar claim of ownership causing even further discussion to take place.  I am uncertain of whether or not this is necessary, but it seems to be a kind of solution that can resolve the matter rather quickly.

There is no need to alter the protocol, that's silly.  I have never claimed that my copyright covers the protocol itself (because I don't want to, and more importantly, I legally cannot).

It is the specific English description of how things work that is copyrighted, not the protocol itself.  If someone comes up with a bitcoin protocol description, without starting from my doc, that is 100% legal in all countries as far as I'm aware.

Anyone who writes their own protocol doc gets their own copyright, may assign their own open source license to the work, etc.  It is highly unlikely that a from-scratch effort would result in the same word-for-word data, the same arrangement and order of document sections, etc.


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August 16, 2010, 06:12:29 PM
 #35

Anyone claiming copyright of community projects, publishing on this community's board should be hooted outta town.

seconded.  copyright is a right, not a liability.  By not specifying terms in a license jgarzic is just trolling for a reaction.  I vote his non-cooperative self-grandizing be rewarded by banning his contributions to svn and the forums.  This way he can start his own fork with a license requiring each user to pray to him before launching the client.
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August 16, 2010, 06:23:38 PM
 #36

seconded.  copyright is a right, not a liability.  By not specifying terms in a license jgarzic is just trolling for a reaction.  I vote his non-cooperative self-grandizing be rewarded by banning his contributions to svn and the forums.  This way he can start his own fork with a license requiring each user to pray to him before launching the client.

The terms are specified by the law.  You cannot copy without permission.  A license is one way an author gives permission:  it lists rights and disclaimers the copyright owner feels is relevant.  The MIT/X11 license specifies your rights to bitcoin source, as set out by the author (satoshi).

What you appear to call trolling is what the rest of the world considers standard practice.  You cannot just copy CNN's web page, either.


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August 16, 2010, 06:38:46 PM
 #37


What you appear to call trolling is what the rest of the world considers standard practice.  You cannot just copy CNN's web page, either.

Why not?

Oh, wait:

  • © 2010 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
and in http://edition.cnn.com/interactive_legal.html

  • 3. Copyright Ownership.
    CNN.com contains copyrighted material, trademarks and other proprietary information, including, but not limited to, text, software, photos, video, graphics, music and sound, and the entire contents of CNN.com are copyrighted as a collective work under the United States copyright laws. CNN owns copyright in the selection, coordination, arrangement and enhancement of such content, as well as in the content original to it. You may not modify, publish, transmit, participate in the transfer or sale, create derivative works, or in any way exploit, any of the content, in whole or in part. You may download copyrighted material for your personal use only. Except as otherwise expressly permitted under copyright law, no copying, redistribution, retransmission, publication or commercial exploitation of downloaded material will be permitted without the express permission of CNN and the copyright owner. In the event of any permitted copying, redistribution or publication of copyrighted material, no changes in or deletion of author attribution, trademark legend or copyright notice shall be made. You acknowledge that you do not acquire any ownership rights by downloading copyrighted material.

But I'm sure your original document had mentions to some form of these... oh, wait...
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August 16, 2010, 06:51:19 PM
 #38

c.f. the copyright FAQ already posted.  The default is "cannot copy without permission" even if a copyright notice or other legalese is absent.

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August 16, 2010, 07:35:31 PM
 #39

Mainly, I have not given permission because it is woefully incomplete, I have some plans for that doc, and it was not only illegal but disrespectful to copy it without asking first.  Still waiting for a simple acknowledgement that it was wrong, which would make me a lot more amenable to a creative commons license.
Some people have apologized:
I apologize, jgarzik, if it appeared I had attempted or otherwise accomplished that of taking credit for your work.  That wasn't my intention.  I will add reference to your initial post as credit in the wiki post, if it hasn't been done so already.
That said, I agree that you have the right to prevent people from copying your works exactly if you so choose. You really can't stop them from using it to produce a derivative work, though - after all, how would you know they didn't just read the code themselves?
Some people in the community (NewLibertyStandard, I'm looking at you) are continuing to insist that you have no right to copyright your works, which is clearly false. That said, I don't think mizery meant any harm in posting your information on the wiki. You didn't originally specify anything suggesting that you didn't want the document copied. When you did specify that you didn't want your document posted, it was taken down. It is common practice in this forum to copy important or interesting information to our wiki. Thus far, nobody has cared.

I vote his non-cooperative self-grandizing be rewarded by banning his contributions to svn and the forums.  This way he can start his own fork with a license requiring each user to pray to him before launching the client.
Let's not overreact: this is a single page of documentation we're talking about. I could reproduce it in a few hours, but I really don't want to if it is eventually going to get released under a permissive license. Let's not alienate one of our best community programmers over a single page of documentation.

Please guys, let's not make this a huge deal. Jgarzik, you could defuse this whole situation by releasing your document under a license that's friendly to copying and cooperation. NLS, please don't be a dick about all of this. Again guys, we're trying to build a community, not a conformity. If Jgarzik doesn't want to allow copying of his document, that's 100% his right. At least he has agreed to release all of his code, patches, etc etc with a MIT license, which is the really important part.

Jgarzik, NLS, etc: I have great respect for all of you and your contributions to Bitcoin. Please, let's not make this a us vs him thing.

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August 16, 2010, 09:03:56 PM
 #40

Quote from: lachesis
Let's not overreact: this is a single page of documentation we're talking about. I could reproduce it in a few hours
Quote from: jgarzik
Mainly, I have not given permission because it is woefully incomplete
Well, we can either wait for jgarzik to release his "woefully incomplete" documentation, or just have someone take a few hours to do it from scratch and not have to deal with the headache that this is causing.

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