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Re: Open Source Due Diligence
- From: Jonathan Larmour <jifl at eCosCentric dot com>
- To: Marsha Hanus <mhanus at us dot ibm dot com>
- Cc: eCos Maintainers <ecos-maintainers at ecos dot sourceware dot org>
- Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 18:15:48 +0100
- Subject: Re: Open Source Due Diligence
- References: <OF3FCC744B.F75F6215-ON87256EF2.0059EB20-88256EF2.005A1252@us.ibm.com>
Marsha Hanus wrote:
Dear Mr. Larmour;
We are thinking about using CRC32 in an IBM product, and, being IBM, we
have procedures for using open source. One of the things we do is to try
to learn more about the open source code from the authors. So if you do
not mind, I would like to ask you a few questions:
It appears from the Polynomial table placed in the public domain by Gary
S. Brown. that you are the core team authors of the code, but that there
may have been other contributors to the CRC32 (for defect repair,
enhancements, etc.), especially Gary S. Brown in 1986.
Yes, Gary Brown's public domain code was the starting point.
Do you have a log with tracking information about who made changes to
the original code and when the changes were made? If so, do you have
information about the contributors such as name and contact information?
We have CVS information for much of it, but to be honest, from your point
of view that should be irrelevant because........
Also, how do you obtain all the rights to distribute these contributions
under your license (e.g., did contributors agree to assign their
copyright rights to you)? Are these permissions in writing?
...... yes the eCos project requests copyright assignments for
contributions from random net users. This is done in writing. The only
exceptions are for the eCos maintainers themselves who can commit things
under their own copyright. Very soon we are intending *all* copyright to be
transferred to the Free Software Foundation, but we are waiting for Red Hat.
In practice for that specific file, I can confirm that the copyright is
Gary S. Brown (but put into the public domain)
Red Hat Inc.
The latter two are, as implied from above, two eCos maintainers, and I've
CC'd the maintainers list for their info as a courtesy. The latter three
have made their copyrighted work available under the eCos license, which is
the license found in the header of the file.
There are no further copyright owners.
We are wondering whether the development process for CRC32 includes
source control and a standard means of tracking the authorship information.
We have a CVS repository, but as above, changes from people other than
maintainers do not get committed without a (written) copyright assignment.
That assignment used to be to Red Hat, but due to some tardiness in Red
Hat's legal department, current contributions are assigned to another
company (who also happen to be my employer) called eCosCentric. This is a
temporary measure though: we are focussed on transferring all copyright to
But in the case of the file in question and my analysis of the CVS logs,
the copyright owners are only the four listed above.
We appreciate that this is a volunteer effort, so we are trying to
minimize our questions to save your time. Please feel to contact me by
phone if you think that would be helpful.
Hopefully this should help answer your query. Let me know if you need more.
IBM - Tivoli Software Group
310-727-4310 El Segundo
818-906-7662 Remote Office
eCosCentric http://www.eCosCentric.com/ The eCos and RedBoot experts
--["No sense being pessimistic, it wouldn't work anyway"]-- Opinions==mine