[LINK] Google Wave

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Mon Jun 1 14:08:45 EST 2009


I can't claim to have "reviewed" the license, since IANAL, but it seems to me
that the license is a clever imitation of what I might call "IETF" licensing.

Sure, it allows you to use stuff, and prevents people from attaching patents to
their work to try and extort the rest of the community.

But also note that in spite of the widespread claim that this is some kind of
open protocol - or even (as I've seen it described, "open source"), the Wave
protocol Website doesn't seem to say anything about the terms under which the
*software* is licensed. So there's also a sneaking suspicion in my mind that
various writers and bloggers are happy to parrot the words "open source" when
they don't actually know whether the license *is* open source.

(Even if it turns out to be so, repeating the claim without verifying it marks
you as a genuine sucker).

Maybe I'm being narky, but:
- If you send software to Google as part of the project, you can't protect it
(including protecting its freedom under a free license) beyond that allowed by
- I can't find the software license terms under which I would be accessing Wave
capabilities, apart from those bits that are on the Wave protocol Website.

So from my *quick* reading (correction welcome) Wave rests on the premise that
we can all trust Google not to be evil. I don't. Others may feel differently.

(Side-note: Google makes billions in .au, pays nearly no tax; and yet someone
thought it was appropriate for the G-G to open its new Australian office. Not a
good look for QB in my opinion...)

Roger Clarke wrote:
> At 13:32 +0000 29/5/09, stephen at melbpc.org.au wrote:
>> Went Walkabout. Brought back Google Wave.
>> 5/28/2009, 09:15:00, http://googleblog.blogspot.com
>> <http://wave.google.com/>http://wave.google.com/
> Okay, I've been asking for years for an update to the venerable email 
> standards, with simple text plus *alternative* richer media, and 
> chat/IM, and conferencing, all with an integrated database, archive 
> and search.
> And of course standards-based, so that multiple vendors can compete 
> over the top of common protocols and infrastructure.
> So I'm desperately disappointed that, after all this time, it's 
> Google that's doing it, with no apparent IETF involvement.
> Google already has massive archives of communications, not just of 
> its users, but also of everyone its users correspond with.  We badly 
> need ways to avoid all of that data being gifted into a corporate 
> store, available for exploitation however Mountain View sees fit.
> My first suspicion is that Wave will be designed to ensure that the 
> maximum amount of traffic is captured into Google's archives.
> My second *was* that the mechanism would be proprietary and closed.
> On the other hand, this suggests proprietary and *open*:
> http://www.waveprotocol.org/
> http://www.waveprotocol.org/draft-protocol-spec
> [Adobe is an example of a provider that once had a decent reputation 
> for proprietary-but-open.  But they seem to have rather mucked up 
> that reputation lately, with more tricks (or just bugs?) that get in 
> the way of effective third-party implementations.  And even MS has 
> yet to destroy RTF as a proprietary but *reasonably* open standard 
> format.]
> Has anyone reviewed the Wave Protocol yet, to evaluate:
> -   the extent to which it's genuinely open versus pseudo-open?
> -   the extent to which it generates momentum towards capture of
>      all or most of our communications traffic into Google's store?

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