[flashrom] LGPL

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Sun Apr 29 15:26:27 CEST 2012

Hi Jay,

Am 27.04.2012 14:59 schrieb Rolette, James (Jay):
>> It's easy to make requests like this, even though i find your 
>> explanation as to why you think VxWorks users (what vxworks users would 
>> even know of flashrom?) will not use flashrom rather hairy. 
> Not sure I understand the expression here... hairy == questionable/unlikely?

I think Luc's point is that the system library exception in the GPL
should provide the legal coverage you need.
You mentioned that sharing the address space between proprietary code
and GPL code could be a problem, but given that a process on e.g x86
shares its address space with the libraries it uses, it is a normal case
that proprietary library code and GPL application code live in the same
address space, and IMO the GPL system library exception was meant to
cover exactly that case.
Unless I have totally misunderstood how VxWorks works, this would mean
you're totally fine with a GPL flashrom.

>> It's not nearly so easy to actually make such a change, as such a license
>> change entails getting permission from all individual contributors.
> Ok.  Wasn't sure how copyright assignment was being handled on flashrom.

We didn't use copyright assignment at all, and that was originally
intended to assure everybody that nobody would relicense the code at will.

>> So, here is the deal, a deal that i think most people on this ml would 
>> wholeheartedly agree with: if _you_ want LGPL, _you_ get to sollicite 
>> all individual contributors.
> Fair enough.  A few questions on that:
> 1) I'm assuming there are is a small core of folks that form the heart of
> the project.  I'd like to start with them if possible because there is no
> point in going broader than that if the core developers don't agree.
> Would someone be willing to provide a list of the "leaders"?  A quick look
> at the source shows a few names that show up a lot (Uwe, Carl-Daniel,
> Stefan, etc.), but always hard to tell without the benefit of having
> followed the project over time.

The Signed-off-by statements in the logs would give you the best
indication, and they should cover roughly 95% of the current codebase.
The rest (very early commits) is by authors who might be more difficult
to reach.

> 2) What is required from each contributor?  Just an email approving a move
> to LGPL for their contribution?  Something more specific?

If you attempt relicensing because your legal department has doubts
about GPL code, I think they won't be happy with confirmation e-mails
(due to them being easy to fake) and would require at least some written
and signed statement for every contributor. That would make relicensing
a project needing a lot of effort, though.

> 3) Is it ok to derive the list of approvers based on the copyright statement
> in the source files?

Use the Signed-off-by statements, they are better indicators.



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