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Re: CodeSourcery's licensing of newlib files
- From: Joel Sherrill <joel dot sherrill at oarcorp dot com>
- To: "Jonathan S. Shapiro" <shap at eros-os dot org>, Ralf Corsepius <ralf dot corsepius at rtems dot org>
- Cc: "newlib at sourceware dot org" <newlib at sourceware dot org>
- Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 10:33:21 -0500
- Subject: Re: CodeSourcery's licensing of newlib files
- Authentication-results: sourceware.org; auth=none
- References: <52002514-06af832aa02dd5da957c6e7accaca7d4 at pmq1v dot m5r2 dot onet> <CADtm3G7S6Pjch8BQ+P8THt+8kfFX30xeswR6NT2CjifegVWwqg at mail dot gmail dot com> <5268CFAA dot 5060906 at rtems dot org> <CAAP=3QPdCuTBwnQpem4HK7DVNpp-Co3HkD=rxSfgjE4yscjsJg at mail dot gmail dot com>
Being pedantic here but sourceware.org is just a host
that (I recall) Redhat has provided for years. It is
not a corporate entity or non-profit by itself -- just
a domain for development.
The company who did this is CodeSourcery which is
now part of Mentor Graphics.
In general, my opinion is that they have been
good at upstreaming patches so I would think the
technical part of the patch against the base newlib
they started with is small. With the disclaimer that
sometimes ports like the NIOS II linger in their code
a long time before submitted.
It is a shame that no one from there has commented.
Did they do this to the source for gcc, binutils, etc?
On 10/24/2013 10:06 AM, Jonathan S. Shapiro wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 12:43 AM, Ralf Corsepius
>> On 10/23/2013 10:09 PM, Gregory Fong wrote:
>>> On Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 6:03 AM, freddie_chopin <email@example.com>
>>>> Can they attach sth like that to newlib's files?
>>> Yes, that's permitted under the BSD license.
>> Correct, but it means their changes can not be applied to sourceware.org's
> If by "they" you mean "SourceWare", then that's incorrect. SourceWare can
> sign appropriate releases and donate their code.
> If by "they" you mean "SourceWare customers", that's a bit more nuanced.
> If I build a patch against the SourceWare tree, and it can be applied
> successfully to the newlib tree without change, I'm probably fine. The
> patch itself is my property, not SourceWare's. It is not a derived work,
> and therefore not subject to their copyright. The fact that it can be
> applied successfully to the baseline newlib tree confirms that my patch has
> no proprietary SourceWare content in it. That means that (a) I'm not
> violating the SourceWare copyright, which only applies to the SourceWare
> content, and (b) No confidential or trade secret information exists in my
> patch (because the patch applied to baseline newlib successfully).
> If the patch *won't* apply to baseline newlib, then things get interesting.
> At that point I think you need a lawyer to figure it out.
> Practically speaking, the impediment here isn't an intellectual property
> issue. It's the fact that the user has to migrate/convert the patch to
> apply against the newlib sources before submitting.
> Aside: if we knew the baseline newlib version that SourceWare had
> appropriated, it would be really interesting to know (a) the number of
> lines in the diff between SourceWare and baseline, and (b) how many files
> actually changed. While the BSD license *does* allow SourceWare to add the
> notices, you can only assert copyright on material that you own. If
> SourceWare has systematically altered the copyright notice on files they
> did not change, then (a) that's fraud, and (b) it would make it very
> difficult for them to enforce successfully. It's obviously not a battle
> anyone wants to have, and the newlib team is right to be careful about
> incoming patches, but I'd hazard to guess that SourceWare has overstepped
> very badly here.
> To say that more plainly: BSD allows you to redistribute code under a broad
> range of license terms. BSD does *not* grant you any right to claim
> ownership of work you did not create. A copyright notice is a claim of
> Jonathan S. Shapiro
Joel Sherrill, Ph.D. Director of Research & Development
joel.sherrill@OARcorp.com On-Line Applications Research
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