[TIP] Unittest Changes

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Mon Jul 21 13:38:58 PDT 2008

Michael Foord <fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk> writes:

> Although I doubt I can open source our [unittest extension] code

That indicates a possible trap that needs to be avoided.

You have intimate knowledge (through working with, and presumably
working on, the code) of a copyrighted work that is very similar to
work that you're now proposing to get into the Python standard
library. That unfortunately raises the question, in a hypothetical
future hostile copyright lawyer's mind, of the copyright status of the

Michael, could you secure a written public disclaimer from your
employer to positively assert that the company expressly disclaims all
proprietary interest in the work you do on unittest?

The disclaimer doesn't need to be long, but it does need to be
unquestionably the authoritative position of the company, and it does
need to be explicit about what work is covered.

It would be awful for some future change in company policy to result
in claims of copyright infringement in the Python standard library,
even if such claims were to be eventually refuted. It would be wise to
avoid it now, when it's presumably easy to do.

 \        “Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas |
  `\     are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.” |
_o__)                                                    —Howard Aiken |
Ben Finney

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