[coreboot] Long license headers (ANGER WARNING)

Julius Werner jwerner at chromium.org
Wed Mar 4 04:32:47 CET 2015

> In the past Ron also disagreed on changing headers by Samsung – taken
>> from U-Boot I think – saying their lawyers drafted those and therefore
>> it should stay that way.
> That's right, you don't get to change other people's headers, especially
> when the headers are created by company lawyers. They get picky that way.

IANAL (I'm not giving legal advice, yada yada), but I don't think that is
how this works. Companies you don't work for can't force you to do X or
prevent you to do Y with their files. All they can do is choose to license
their files under the GPL (or a compatible licence whose covered work may
be converted to it). If they do, the text of the GPL is the only thing that
can restrict what you do with them. If they don't, then you're not allowed
to submit it to coreboot in the first place. It's not possible to license
code as "GPL, *but* you need to buy me a Pony every time you change line
273"... if you try to add your own rules, the code is no longer
GPL-compatible and cannot legally be merged into coreboot. And once someone
representing that company signs off on a file that says "...blahblahblah
under the terms of the GNU General Public license...", their lawyers can't
tell you anything as long as you comply with the text of the GPL (well,
they'll try to tell you anyway, but you don't need to listen).

I would be in favor of smaller header comments, but I think we should
clearly define (and try to enforce) a standard way to write it and if
possible migrate old files over.
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