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BSD Operating Systems Software Linux

IP Theft in the Linux Kernel 1000

Posted by Nik
from the we-feel-so-betrayed dept.
Søren Schmidt was browsing through the 2.4.10 linux kernel source when he saw something that looked a bit familiar. Too familiar in fact. Søren is the principle developer of FreeBSD's ATA drivers, including FreeBSD's support for ATA RAID cards, and as he looked through the linux/drivers/ide/ files the sense of deja vu was overwhelming. Read on for more.

"They just took my code and filed off the copyright" said Søren. "This is clearest with the two header files hptraid.h and pdcraid.h. Compare these with FreeBSD's ata-raid.h, and just look at the similarities." And it's true that these two header files certainly look like a chopped up copy of the FreeBSD header, after a quick search-and-replace. "The reading of the RAID config from the disks is their own code, but is clearly "inspired" from our code," said Søren, "but that's encouraged by the license. It's the verbatim use of the other code without retaining the copyright that's the problem."

ata-raid.h, and the other files, are copyright Søren, and released under the three clause BSD license, which includes the restriction "Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice". So using these files, or significant portions of them, in your own code, without retaining the copyright information, as has happened here, is prohibited.

You may be thinking "This is only a couple of header files, what's the big deal?". As Søren says "The problem here is that the structures in the headers is the whole story. That info tells how you read the proprietary struct off the disks, and was reverse engineered and documented by me after a lot of effort." Søren's intellectual property is tied up in those files.

Right now, Søren is in discussions with the authors of the Linux ATA drivers (employed by RedHat) to ensure that his copyright notice is returned to these and other files, and to ensure that this situation does not recur. And it is hoped that an amicable solution can be reached.

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IP Theft in the Linux Kernel

Comments Filter:
  • by JEDi_ERiAN (79402) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:31PM (#2347849) Homepage
    this is crazy, linux developers need to give props where props is due.

    E.
    • by hokie93 (249796)
      Agreed. There are bound to be a lot of trolls on this discussion and some inflamatory rhetoric but it is pretty simple. For the most part, when you use the source code from any open source program, you are bound by the terms of the license agreement.

      By removing the advertising clause, the BSD license is compatable with the GPL but there are still obligations that must be met.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Then tell them that on the linux-kernel mailing list:

      linux-kernel@vger.kernel .org [mailto]

      You don't need to be subscribed to the list to successfully send stuff to it, so post away!

      If you actually do want to subscribe to the list send a message to majordomo@vger.kernel.org [mailto] with the following in the body:

      subscribe linux-kernel malda@slashdot.org

      where malda@slashdot.org will be replaced by your email address.

      An archive of the list can be found at http://boudicca.tux.org/hypermail/linux-kernel/ [tux.org]

      Hope this helps!
  • And yet... (Score:4, Informative)

    by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:34PM (#2347870) Homepage Journal
    And yet, if it had been incorporated into WinXP, nobody would ever have been the wiser. Who would this guy be whining to then?

    Seriously, though, if someone used the code, it must be used under the correct license. Same as if someone uses the linux kernel. They gotta use the GPL.

    Again, copyright (and licensing) is a double-edged sword.

    • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

      by geomcbay (263540) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:38PM (#2347917)
      Microsoft has incorporated BSD code into Windows various times, each time giving proper credit and keeping copyright notices intact.

      Don't try to reflect this onto Microsoft. Clearly the Linux developers fucked up here.
      • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Redundant)

        by thewiz (24994)
        Hey!

        Paint not with a broad brush!

        This is clearly the fault of just one company: RedHat. Their programmers are the ones who "wrote" the code. The vast majority of Linux coders give credit where credit is due.

      • Give proper credit ? (Score:3, Informative)

        by DVega (211997)
        "Microsoft has incorporated BSD code into Windows various times, each time giving proper credit and keeping copyright notices intact."

        The Windows FTP command is bassed on BSD sources, but the user interface does not show any copyright information.

        It is said that also the TCP/IP stack is based on BSD sources.

        Can anyone affirm that Microsoft source code retains the mandatory copyright information ?

        Another question. This headers define an interface between Hardware and Software. This interface was not created by Sorem Schmit. Can he claim copyright rights on them ?

      • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by j7953 (457666)
        From the BSD license:

        Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

        I wonder where Microsoft (or anyone else distributing binary BSD-licensed software) does this. At least I didn't find it in Windows 2000's documentation (both online and offline). I have only the OEM version so my only manual is a quick start guide, but still the notice should be somewhere if Microsoft doesn't break the license.

        BTW, I think this is one of the worst clauses of the BSD license. I don't see how it makes sense to expect licensees to fill up the last pages of their user manuals with things like "This software contains software licensed to [Company] under the following license agreement: ..."

        Requiring a notice such as "Parts of this software copyright ..." would be ok, but requiring a reprint of the license agreement that allowed the use of that software is ridiculous. Or maybe I misinterprete the license?

        • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jabes (238775) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:30PM (#2349244) Homepage
          I wonder where Microsoft (or anyone else distributing binary BSD-licensed software) does this. At least I didn't find it in Windows 2000's documentation (both online and offline). I have only the OEM version so my only manual is a quick start guide, but still the notice should be somewhere if Microsoft doesn't break the license.

          I don't know about Windows 2000, but I've got RTM Windows XP here. On the CD in the root directory is a README file. Here's some of it...

          Acknowledgements Portions of this product are based in part on the work of Mark H. Colburn and sponsored by the USENIX Association. Copyright © 1989 Mark H. Colburn. All rights reserved.

          This product includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.

          Portions of this product are based in part on the work of the Regents of the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors. Because Microsoft has included the Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, software in this product, Microsoft is required to include the following text that accompanied such software:

          Copyright © 1985, 1988 Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

          Redistribution and use in source and binary forms are permitted provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are duplicated in all such forms and that any documentation, advertising materials, and other materials related to such distribution and use acknowledge that the software was developed by the University of California, Berkeley. The name of the University may not be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission. THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

          Portions of this product are based in part on the work of Greg Roelofs. Because Microsoft has included the Greg Roelofs software in this product, Microsoft is required to include the following text that accompanied such software:

          Copyright © 1998-1999 Greg Roelofs. All rights reserved.

          This software is provided "as is," without warranty of any kind, express or implied. In no event shall the author or contributors be held liable for any damages arising in any way from the use of this software.

          Permission is granted to anyone to use this software for any purpose, including commercial applications, and to alter it and redistribute it freely, subject to the following restrictions:

          Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, disclaimer, and this list of conditions.

          Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, disclaimer, and this list of conditions in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software must display the following acknowledgment:

          This product includes software developed by Greg Roelofs and contributors for the book, PNG: The Definitive Guide, published by O'Reilly and Associates.

          Portions of this software are based in part on the work of Hewlett-Packard Company. Because Microsoft has included the Hewlett-Packard Company software in this product, Microsoft is required to include the following text that accompanied such software:

          Copyright © 1994 Hewlett-Packard Company

          Permission to use, copy, modify, distribute and sell this software and its documentation for any purpose is hereby granted without fee, provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation. Hewlett-Packard Company makes no representations about the suitability of this software for any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.

          Portions of this software are based in part on the work of the University of Southern California. Because Microsoft has included the University of Southern California software in this product, Microsoft is required to include the following text that accompanied such software:

          Copyright © 1996 by the University of Southern California. All rights reserved.

          Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation in source and binary forms for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided that both the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies - and that any documentation, advertising materials, and other materials related to such distribution and use acknowledge that the software was developed in part by the University of Southern California, Information Sciences Institute. The name of the University may not be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

          THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA makes no representations about the suitability of this software for any purpose. THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

          Portions of this software are based in part on the work of Luigi Rizzo. Because Microsoft has included the Luigi Rizzo software in this product, Microsoft is required to include the following text that accompanied such software:

          © 1997-98 Luigi Rizzo (luigi@iet.unipi.it)

          Portions derived from code by Phil Karn (karn@ka9q.ampr.org), Robert Morelos-Zaragoza (robert@spectra.eng.hawaii.edu) and Hari Thirumoorthy (harit@spectra.eng.hawaii.edu), Aug 1995

          Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

          Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

          THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

          Portions of this software are based in part on the work of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Because Microsoft has included the Massachusetts Institute of Technology software in this product, Microsoft is required to include the following text that accompanied such software:

          Copyright © 1989,1990 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All Rights Reserved.

          WITHIN THAT CONSTRAINT, permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation, and that the name of M.I.T. not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of the software without specific, written prior permission. M.I.T. makes no representations about the suitability of this software for any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.

          Under U.S. law, this software may not be exported outside the US without license from the U.S. Commerce department.

          Portions of this software are based in part on the work of Regents of The University of Michigan. Because Microsoft has included the Regents of The University of Michigan software in this product, Microsoft is required to include the following text that accompanied such software:

          Copyright © 1995,1996 Regents of The University of Michigan. All Rights Reserved.

          Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice appears in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation, and that the name of The University of Michigan not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of the software without specific, written prior permission. This software is supplied as is without expressed or implied warranties of any kind.

          • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Informative)

            by j7953 (457666)

            Thanks for the info!

            I did a full text search for "Regensts of the University of California" in my winnt dir and subdirs, but found results only in .exe files. There's also no readme on my Windows partition root dir or on the install CD's root dir (there actually is one on the CD, but it doesn't contain the copyright notices). But I guess the file is somewhere, after all the license doesn't require the reproduction to be easy to find.

            In fact, I have to admit that it didn't occur to me as of now that you could satisfy the license with something as simple as a readme file. So this requirement isn't as bad as I thought (but it also doesn't make much more sense).

    • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Spankophile (78098)
      There's only a few comments in here right now, but the sentiment seems to be:

      "I'm speechless. THis sort of thing shouldn't happen. Give the guy his due credit. Now let's move on."

      If it really *had* been done in Windows, and someone found out, I bet people here would be screaming for blood, waving the evil empire flag, and talking about how only an MS employee would do such a thing.

      Crow is good for you.
      • Re:And yet... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DarkZero (516460) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @02:12PM (#2348286)
        There's only a few comments in here right now, but the sentiment seems to be:

        "I'm speechless. THis sort of thing shouldn't happen. Give the guy his due credit. Now let's move on."

        If it really *had* been done in Windows, and someone found out, I bet people here would be screaming for blood, waving the evil empire flag, and talking about how only an MS employee would do such a thing.

        I think the main difference here is that we actually have confidence that this problem will be fixed, which is a confidence that we would not have if Microsoft had been the perpetrator. If Microsoft had done it, we'd be out for blood because we'd HAVE to be out for blood in order to get a result. We'd have to be screaming to the heavens to get any form of popular media possible to listen to us, in order to convince Microsoft to do the right thing. Conversely, we trust Linux developers, and we're confident that they'll do the right thing in the end, so we really have no reason to be out for blood.

      • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bero-rh (98815)
        Don't get me wrong, if they did copy the code and remove the copyright, that's a bad thing(tm).
        But Microsoft doing the same thing would be worse.
        Taking some open source code and releasing it as open source forgetting about the credits is not exactly the same as
        taking open source code proprietary and not even bothering to mention where it was taken from.
  • Er... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Legion303 (97901) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:35PM (#2347884) Homepage
    Can someone explain to me *why* a developer would strip off copyright info? It's not like there are licensing fees; the guy just wants his code to be recognized and attributed. It doesn't make much sense to me...could it have been an honest mistake or a coincidence? (I'm not a programmer, so I haven't looked at the two files in question, which would mean nothing to me anyway.)

    -Legion

    • The BSD license has an "advertisment" clause that requires the software give credit to the developers.
      This is contrary to the GPLs "no additional restrictions" clause. Thus you cannot just take code from a BSD licensed project and import it into a GPL licensed project. Not legally at least.
      • The 3-clause BSD licence does not contain the "advertisment" clause.

        It was removed July 22 1999.

      • by fizbin (2046)

        The requirement that a copyright clause remain intact is NOT the same as the dreaded "BSD advertising clause".

        In fact, the current BSD license is completely compatible with the GPL (Just remember that the commingled result must be GPLed). See the FSF list of GPL-Compatible licenses [gnu.org].

      • The "advertisment" [sic] clause you refer to wasn't on these files in question. That clause has been removed in FreeBSD code. The modified BSD license has been around for a while now and most new FreeBSD code uses it.

        Please check your facts before going off like this.

        The GPL does have its problems, and this is one of them. :-)

    • Re:Er... (Score:4, Funny)

      by cdraus (522373) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:41PM (#2347970)
      The programmer probably didn't know how to insert that funny looking o character in "Soren" using vi, so just left it out...
      • Re:Er... (Score:3, Funny)

        by jasoegaard (103287)
        I just press ø.

        Oh. I have a danish keybord.

        --
        Jens Axel Søgaard
    • Re:Er... (Score:4, Funny)

      by OmegaDan (101255) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:43PM (#2348001) Homepage
      It says a RedHat employe wrote the code ... the guy stole the code and probably played quake for 2 months. Thats why you strip off the copyright.
    • Someone elsewhere posited that as the programmers worked for RHAT, they wanted it to appear as though they had done more work than they really did.

      I would imagine that the licensing question might be more difficult. But, if Soren (sorry, don't know how to put in that 'o' character) has rights to all of the code, he could additionally license that to the linux kernel, provided his name appeared somewhere (comments in header, name in developer list. Something.) And by this, I don't mean that that is a written or agreed to thing. His inclusion should be a handshake type deal.

      Only problem is how pissed off is the original author of the code?

      • ... Soren (sorry, don't know how to put in that 'o' character)


        Quick hint: use the source, Luke (Of the original /. page, that is) (ALT F3 in Opera):

        S&#248;ren

        Presto!

    • It's easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission (to play quake while copying open source code).

      Linux users hate Windows, FreeBSD user love UNIX.
    • Re:Er... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JWhitlock (201845) <`gro.eeei' `ta' `kcoltihW-nhoJ'> on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @02:03PM (#2348209)
      Can someone explain to me *why* a developer would strip off copyright info? It's not like there are licensing fees; the guy just wants his code to be recognized and attributed. It doesn't make much sense to me...could it have been an honest mistake or a coincidence? (I'm not a programmer, so I haven't looked at the two files in question, which would mean nothing to me anyway.)

      I think it was more of a matter of lazy programming than evil intentions. The header files define structures, a few constants, etc. They encode a bit of knowledge, such as data formats and the meaning of that data, but some people wouldn't consider it code. More of an interface description. Of course, if it was a document describing an interface, then most people would automatically consider the copyright to hold...

      It's a bit like other forms of online "theft". Some folks think that if you download the html for a popular site, remove all the text and images, and use the layout on their own site, then it's not theft, because the copyrightable parts (images, text) were removed, and only the framework retained. But, like HTML framework, headers are the work of the programmer, and any desired copyright should be respected.

      Again, I'm in the "simple mistake, fix it, move on" camp, and would like to add that Red Hat and the rest should add a line to their policy about reusing "open source" code, to retain copyrights.

      If Microsoft did it, I'd expect them to do the same, but Microsoft would probably do it to force the issue, make the EFF take them to trial to define the limits of open source, the BSD liscence , and the GPL liscense. That's the difference - this will be taken care of by peers, while Microsoft conflicts almost always involve lawyers. It's the difference between getting rear-ended by an honest citizen (with or without the insurance companies getting involved), vs. an asshole celebrity who thinks the little people should take their licks and not annoy the "important people" with trivial matters like car bills and possible medical expenses.

      • Re:Er... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by raoulortega (306691)
        If Microsoft did it, I'd expect them to do the same, but Microsoft would probably do it to force the issue, make the EFF take them to trial to define the limits of open source, the BSD liscence , and the GPL liscense. That's the difference - this will be taken care of by peers, while Microsoft conflicts almost always involve lawyers.

        It may surprise you, but Microsoft has actually killed projects because some of the code was unintentionally tainted by the GPL license (like by the inclusion of GPL'd libraries). A major reason was to not give the Microsoft haters an excuse to sue, like they constantly threaten.

        As for "asshole celebrities"-- when you've got deep pockets, you are more likely to get sued for trivial reasons by "an honest citizen" looking for some quick bucks.

    • Re:Er... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alien54 (180860)
      Can someone explain to me *why* a developer would strip off copyright info

      For it to make sense, you have to accept the idea that there may be people who seem to be part of your community, but are not, because they do not share your sense of ethics and fairplay.

      If you have a couple of newbie developers who want to show off their programming skilz and want to short cut the process of doing the work themselves. Then it is easy to cut'n'paste and hope you don't get caught.

      In this case, because of the conscious choice that has to be made when you select to do a cut'n'paste, you have to assume a conscious choice was made to omit the copyright data. You certainly would not want an unconscious choice being made.

      The response to this by the original author is very generous, he just needs his work properly credited.

      But honestly, all the other work of those developers is now under suspicion. It will have to be gone over to make sure they didn't do this someplace else. This is a real drag for RedHat, and the crew that has to go pick through the work. These guys also have to develop a sense of ethics and fairplay.

      Maybe they have a future at MS... [joke!]

      ;-)

    • Re:Er... (Score:3, Funny)

      by pi_rules (123171)
      He -might- have thought this was already documented by the manufacturer and semi-public-domain-ish knowledge. I would personally doubt it... but you never know. Could have been digging into tech documents on the cards and decided he'd just use the FreeBSD code to help him follow along, realized that it was exactly what he needed (changed the typedefs of some variables though)...and began coding some more.
      At any rate, even if they were this ignorant of their violation it's just a bad idea not to cite where you got the information from in your code.

      ie: /* I just threw numbers in here one night and started guessing. I think they work but I might be way off even, report bugs to blah@redhat.com. */

      --or--

      /* I ripped these structs from the FreeBSD driver written by Søren Schmidt... if it's broken blame him */

      -- or maybe --

      /* I'm going to pretend that these came to me magically in a dream one day. I figure RH's odds of finding a prophetic coder with visions such as these are pretty slim and guarantees me some serious job security. */

    • Re:Er... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheCarp (96830)
      Perhaps they didn't strip it off... perhaps they just didn't opy it.

      You know how it is... your working on somthing, you stop to consider how your going to do this next peice... you seem some code that will drop in fine... then you see a little more...

      maybe they just never thought to go back and grab the copyright. Really... its such a little thing. The code works without it. Very easy to forget, especially when your involved in a real problem (like coding or debugging or just plain testing).

      "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequetly explained by stupidity". I think this can adequetly be explained by stupidity... its really a pretty simple oversight for a programmer (if not a lawyer)

      -Steve
  • by proxima (165692) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:35PM (#2347889)
    Granted, I think most of us expect code to be stolen from GPL products and stuck into proprietary products. It struck me as odd that BSD code would actually be put into a GPL program improperly, considering the only requirement to my knowledge is the copyright notice they discussed.

    It was mentioned that the authors of the Linux kernel code worked for Red Hat. We can't be certain but I speculate that they didn't want to appear "lazy" by "stealing" anyone elses code, regardless that it was completely free. Perhaps it was just an oversight. I hope we see an update in a slashback in the future.

    • This sort of thing ("borrowing" of code without following the rules) happens all the time. The good news is, with Open Source it is easier to find and correct.

      I just hope the offender can be identified and given the chance to ask forgiveness (sinner repent! ;)).
    • Your post raises an interesting issue. Can BSD code be put into a GPL program? Not accoring to the statement on gnu.org [gnu.org] about the original BSD license, which is the license in question. It is listed in the GPL-Incompatible section.

      It is the requirement you mention (inserting the copyright notice) that makes the two incompatible. A GPL'd program can't have that "restriction".

      If you are cynical you could say that this is an example of the viral nature of the GPL and that RMS wants to take over the world!

      • The copyright clause is not the same as the advertisement clause in the original BSD license which causes the incompatibility. The copyright need only be in the source code; the advertisement clause means (among other things) that if you buy a boxed version, it has to be on the outside of the box.

        The license in question here is the modified BSD license. (same page, earlier on)
  • So tell me (Score:2, Redundant)

    by Drone-X (148724)
    Why post this on Slashdot when the issue is nearly resolved? If you want to send out a message then the place to post would be the Linux kernel mailing list.
    • Re:So tell me (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      1) In case you haven't noticed, Slashdot is the scandal rag tabloid of the open source community. This is a scandal, it should be printed here. (Every other known licence violation gets press here -- should this one be supressed for political reasons?)

      2) Nobody on Linux-kernel wants a bunch of technically-ignorant flamers invading their list. What passes for Insightful here will get you killfiled there. Anyone who might be interested in linux-kernel is smart enough to find it. Don't point them there.
  • Good for him! (Score:4, Informative)

    by adaking (158188) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:38PM (#2347919)
    Even though the license was violated by other free software developers, I'm glad to see him pursuing this. If we ever want to see the various free software licenses accepted by the general community, we need to show them that we take them seriously, even if that means going after some of our own.
  • Stolen code??? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Quasar1999 (520073)
    Certain code, although originally discovered/written by one individual will look a lot like the code of others, especially when that code is interfacing with hardware. I can only initialize a video card one way, with all the registers being set in the same order... Now if I don't consult the web, or anyone elses source code, and write a video driver, someone else, who wrote one for the same hardware first, could claim that I cut and paste his code... Even though I haven't even seen it.

    Just because the code looks the same, doesn't mean it was stolen... There are only a limited number of ways to get certain hardware to work in software, and most code reflects this.
  • by dinotrac (18304)
    First GNOME steals from khtml without attribution and now this.
    Oh -- and steals is the right term.
    This is one of the few ways you can steal BSD'd code. The license lets you do pretty much whatever you want.

    Proper attribution is not a big thing to ask, especially as meager compensation to a job well done. If the code's worth taking, it's certainly worth attributing.

    The worst part is that it allows the Microsofts of this world to say that free developers really aren't that different from themselves.
    Phooey.
  • by jekk (15278) <mcherm@mcherm.com> on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:41PM (#2347972) Homepage
    Please folks, remember this the next time /. posts some s [slashdot.org] t [slashdot.org] o [slashdot.org] r [slashdot.org] y [slashdot.org] about a violation of the GPL liscense. Give them a chance, after it's been pointed out, to resolve things peacefully.

    Of course, I wouldn't propose that we allow violations of open source liscenses to continue unchecked, just that the opportunity for good faith resolutions be allowed before crying "Boycott!".

  • This should really be addresses as a wider issue in the Linux community. While we all place great importance on the 'open-source' movement, we also need to ensure that Linux polices it's own code-base and keeps itself in compliance with the GPL, and other license-of-the-week trends.
    We must try and validate our work in in the eyes of the corporate (and IP-trigger-happy) environment that we are trying to penetrate if we want to get accepted as a viable option.
    hmmm, where will we find this kind of un-attributed code violations next? I sure as hell don't want to have Microsoft breathing down my neck because someone recycled propriatry code and invited the bull into the china shop.

    food for thought
    (caffine for action)
  • by melquiades (314628) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:43PM (#2347990) Homepage
    Developers give all kinds of reasons for developing free software -- noble spirit, peer respect, etc. -- but one of the big ones is all the shit you don't have to deal with.

    Case in point: there is every reason to think that this author's name will be included with his code in the next release of the Linux kernel source. Think how vastly different this situation would be if this were about theft of proprietary code. Here, nobody's company is at stake, and nobody stands to lose by doing the right thing -- so there are no stupid lawsuits and no hard feelings. At least, I hope it plays out this way ... but the odds are with it.

    Forget all this paranoia about the venemous GPL. Proprietary code has a really, really high cost of ownership; at a certain point, it's just not worth it. Free is just so ... easy. Yay!
  • by z7209 (305927) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:45PM (#2348012)
    Bravo to Soren: he wants credit for the hard work he did. I 100% agree that it should have been done and is deplorable that it wasn't.

    I would like to point out though that there is a strong argument that it was precisely that hard work rather than intellectual property that was stolen. Bear with me, and no knee-jerk mods please:

    (1) A structure is just that: a structure. If there is intellectual property there it is in the original designer of the structure.

    If this was a structure in nature (such as the human genome or what have you) then there are plenty of people who disagree with it being anyone's IP at all. Unfortunately, in the wisdom of capitalist democracy some people think that they *own* all of our tomatoes.

    But this isn't nature, and someone did plan and write these structures and deserves credit. And Soren deserves plenty too for figuring it out and giving it to the world.

    (2) You could say that his comments are IP, and that's a pretty strong argument. So perhaps there is more than just good old hard work here. However, it's possible these are just titles of the data structure elements, and titles aren't exactly covered by the same IP standards as other IP.

    Oh well. I don't want to take away from the important work, and certainly nothing from Soren's credit. Just some food for thought.

    • FWIW, I agree that the data structures are the intellectual property of the original creator thereof. However, without being able to actually see those structures, anything Søren entered into his editor and saved as those header files is definately copyright him. The fact that the structures are reverse-engineered severely limits his ability to claim that they are his intellectual property.
    • by mperrin (41687) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:05PM (#2348701) Homepage
      (1) A structure is just that: a structure.

      Au contraire. Compare the following two snippets of code, taken arbitrarily from one of the other raid header files in the kernel:



      struct m {
      int a;
      int b;
      kdev_t c;
      int d;

      /*
      * State bits:
      */
      int e;
      int f;
      int g;

      int h;
      };

      And:


      struct mirror_info {
      int number;
      int raid_disk;
      kdev_t dev;
      int head_position;

      /*
      * State bits:
      */
      int operational;
      int write_only;
      int spare;

      int used_slot;
      };



      Those are the same exact structure, no? Exact same data types and everything. I even left in the comments. Now, which of those would you rather have to program with? A structure is *not* just a structure; different source codes for the same structure can be of radically different usefulness. There's definitely intellectual property there.

      • by mj6798 (514047)
        By that argument, it would have been impossible to build Linux or Wine, because both needed to use structures whose fields had names compatible with UNIX and Windows.

        Generally, such names are viewed as not being creative, and hence creating compatible software is possible. I very much hope your view won't start getting adopted because it would endanger almost all open source efforts.

      • I agree with you that structures can have IP inside of them, but I think you have drawn up a straw man with your example. If perhaps the other code looked like

        struct cloneDriveData {
        kdev_t typeD;
        int16 positionOfReader;
        int16 sysId;
        int16 controllerId;

        /* boolean bits */

        boolean notReadOnly;
        boolean extraNotUsed;
        boolean working;
        struct mirror_info {
        int number;
        int raid_disk;
        kdev_t dev;
        int head_position;

        /*
        * State bits:
        */
        int operational;
        int write_only;
        int spare;

        Now you ask, did I copy your IP or did I reverse engineer this?

        If I just finished reverse engineering this and found that a very simular operating system, with code already developed and working, had been published I think it would be irresponsible for me to continue with my naming convention. Why? Because it would only make it more dificult for drivers to be writen if for every simular device we had vastly different names for it. I would just use the other guys naming style and be done with it.

        If I just copied you spec and renamed everything, then how are you going to prove it? Because since there is only one structure that could be derived from the device that would work (as it is the original device author's) you would assume an indepenant attempt to reverse engineer would come up with nearly and idential structure, save for the names of the variables. So if you just change the variable names, your free from the IP claim.

        Going back to the first case, it now seems obvious that if you want to get credit for your work, you have to create vastly different naming conventions and interject your personal style to the point that it supercedes any usablility or perfomance issues otherwise claims of 'copying' will be made.

        So remember when you create your next program, scan all the available code that is simular and make sure your naming conventions and coding style are uniquely identifiable. You can do this by obfusticating your variables and write at least wrappers for libararies so that your calls will be different. Of course you will have to do this AFTER you have coded, because you shouldn't be looking at other peoples code before you start or else your work would just be a copy of theirs.

  • A common source? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MarkusQ (450076)
    Before we get too up in arms, is it possible that they both drew from a common source (app notes, published specs, etc.)? Code can look similar for many reasons. I recall, for example, a university "cheater detection" program that "caught" a large number of cheaters--in a course on code reuse--because they had used identical variable names, layout, etc. It was subsequently discovered that they had all noticed that the problem given was a minor variation on an example given in their textbook, and had used that as a starting point.

    -- MarkusQ

  • Not the first time (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I don't want to start anything here, but I used to work with Andre Hedrick [linux-ide.org], the IDE driver maintainer - and this sort of thing has happened before. Andre is a very talented programmer and a hard worker, but he was roundly regarded as a bit of a credit hog at our former employer. And it's unfortunate, but it seems like that really got him in a heap of trouble this time.

    I don't harbor any resentment against the guy, but this was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm sorry it had to turn out this way.

    -anon
    (yes, I have an account; no, I'm not going to use it here)

    • by Inoshiro (71693) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:30PM (#2349249) Homepage
      Just post anything at all about the situation as an AC and get modded really high.

      Where are the backups to your statements?

      This reminds me of when there was the large Exodus outage, and in the explanaion story an AC claimed to be some chick who was abuse my Taco (funny since Taco is in Michigan, Exodus cage is very not in Michigan, etc).

      Moderators: don't mod up stuff unless there is PROOF or this person has put a real name behind their statements. Posts like this are just trolls meant no spread disinformation.
  • by mrbill (4993) <mrbill@mrbill.net> on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:48PM (#2348046) Homepage
    When did Slashdot suddenly become "The Place" to
    complain about license and copyright violations?

    "Oh my god, its a license violation! Get
    Slashdot on the phone IMMEDIATELY!"

    Surprised I havent seen a "do , or we'll post
    about you on slashdot" yet.

    In this case, I agree with the author of the
    code about getting proper credit for his work
    since it was reused - but all of these GPL/
    license/embedded linux stories lately are
    getting tiring.

    BRING BACK THE QUICKIES!
  • by Helmholtz (2715) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:49PM (#2348070) Homepage
    I really hope this was simply a stupid oversight. I do think that too often people simply take licenses and plagerism very lightly. Often high school papers read like a poorly chopped and pasted encyclopedia, and rarely is anyting done to curtail this.

    IP is important. Copyright is important. Licensing is important. Unfortuantely defenders of all these things are often cast in a bad light because of a perceived association with other groups who misuse these tools.

    Just my 2c

  • Oh yes, it looks like some software engineer at RedHat tried to pretend working for few weeks and that tried to cover his lazyness by the easiest way, stealing. 'nuff said.
  • ...is not that the code was "borrowed", but what people are saying about it. So far, the highest-modded comments say:

    * If this had been included in WindowsXP he wouldn't have known, so he couldn't have complained. Yay GPL!

    * Why post this on Slashdot if the issue is resolved?

    * This code was reverse-engineered anyway, so why is he bitching when we leech it?

    Lord almighty the hypocrites in this place.

    My response:

    * Microsoft *has* included BSD code, and they've done everything they're supposed to. Why can't we ever have a discussion like this where we admit we're wrong? Sometimes we can say something without promoting the GPL or Linux.

    * Why post on Slashdot if it's resolved? Think about this: if MS had taken code from Linux and used it, and then it was resolved, it would still be posted on Slashdot and people would be ready to beat down Bill G's door and crucify him.

    * Of course the code was reverse-engineered. And Jesus, how often do we bitch on here about how we should have the right to reverse-engineer? When someone else does it, it's low - when Linux does it (and trust me, a large number of Linux drivers are reverse-engineered), it's the best thing since sliced bread. Remember, kiddies - Linux does something, it's good; Anyone else does the *exact same thing* and it's bad.

    Sometimes I just get sick of the people who bash religion and then follow Linus like he's God...*sigh*
    • Ok, I have had it. From this point on, I'm going to moderate these "Slashdot hypocricy" posts as redundant. It has been said a million times, and it's true, but it's not news to anyone. If you have actual insightful comments, make them.
      • It's been said a million times, but that doesn't make it true. What these anti-hypocrites need to learn is:
        1. There is more than one person posting on slashdot. If Alice says the weather is cold, and Bob says the weather is hot, this does not make Alice and Bob hypocrites.
        2. Things change. If Alice says it's hot, and tomorrow Alice says it's cold, she is not necessarily a hypocrite. Maybe it got colder.
        3. People change. If Alice says it's hot, then five minutes later she says it's cold, and the temperature is constant, maybe her perception of temperature has changed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @01:59PM (#2348173)
    Why was this guy looking into the Linux source code in the first place? Was he, say, stealing ideas?

    Stop the flames. Of course he wasn't. What got lost in this story is one of the best aspects of open source programs: complete transparency. Microsoft may be using pieces of the Linux kernel inside its own programs and we'll never know. Ever.

    If it was really a copy (we're talking about device drivers and it's very difficult to create original software to describe the same struct) then notice will be given that it was his software.

    And another good aspect: this guys is a programmer that has created open source device drivers for FreeBSD. And he was looking into the Linux kernel sources. Probably looking for his own code (which would make him proud) or looking for the chance to help out fellow programmers or just to compare solutions and learn with it.

    I'm sorry it happened but we should focus on what's good about this story:

    Truth shall set you free.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @02:03PM (#2348208)
    Here [redhat.com] is the location at RedHat where you can get the code and patch. Link found on The Linux IDE Project Site [linux-ide.org]
  • Copied? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr (15451)

    The structures do look similar, and if the Linux headers were copied then I hope they smack the guy responsible and reinstate the copyright notice. If the files were cut-n-paste copied it should be possible to nail this down, and copying something this cut-and-dried is stupid enough to merit a serious LARTing.

    OTOH, if you give two programmers the same specs for a data structure and they have to follow the same coding and indentation style, you're likely to get two very similar structures, right down to the names in obvious cases, even if they don't copy each others' work. The fields themselves have to be specific types in a specific order because that's the way it's laid out on disk, and the coding style's pretty much fixed by the Linux kernel coding standards, and things like dummy_1, dummy_2 for filler fields are pretty standard (those're what I'd pick without seeing any other code, for example), how much variation in the structures is actually possible?

    For a real-world example, look at any two independent implementations of the CRC32 algorithm. They're probably identical in everything but some variable names and indentation, because there's only one really fast way of writing that algorithm and everybody uses it automatically. Nigh-identical code, no copying done or required to get it.

  • by mikosullivan (320993) <miko@[ ]cs.com ['ido' in gap]> on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @02:09PM (#2348259)
    W/o implying that the Linux folks had any innappropriate intentions, stripping off copyright notices is sadly common.

    I write and run the Idocs Guide to HTML [idocs.com] which contains a lot of JavaScript. I give away the JavaScripts for free, asking only that the copyright notice be kept in place. The copyright notices are in the JavaScript comments, so there's no effect on the user-interface. Nevertheless, I have seen many places where my scripts are used but the copyright gone.

    One person even asked for help on using a script while blatantly refering me to a page where the copyright was gone. Sheesh.

  • by weave (48069) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @02:26PM (#2348399) Journal
    Isn't the big thing about the BSD license is that it doesn't suppose to have restrictions like this? As in, any company can take the code, wrap it into their own code, and not pay, give credit, whatever?

    If so, then nothing wrong has occured. It can also be recopyrighted under GPL. Don't like it, just copy and make use of the original BSD one that doesn't have that restriction.

    I don't see Microsoft making the source for BSD bits they lift available for others, nor do they have to. BSD allows you to do whatever you want with the code, including sell it, right?

    This isn't meant as a troll, if I'm mistaken, let me know. I'm just interpreting the numerous open-source vs free-source, BSD-vs-GPL flame wars that have been going on here forever...

  • by Jboy_24 (88864) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @02:47PM (#2348577) Homepage
    I am very shocked and surprised by this. Looking through the header files it is disapointing that the linux developers, supposedly people more open and original than their counterpoints would lower themselves to define variables in the same way BSD did.
    I mean when it came to defining the variables for the cylinders for the drive they just used the name 'cylinders'! EXACTLY what BSD used!!! and for the number of disks on the raid0 they used raid0_disks!!!

    I mean they should have defined it as num_of_boxed_platters_of_magneticly_coated_disks_c ontained_in_metal_boxes_configured_on_raid_0, perhaps my_aunt_Marlene0 (naming things after family is cool), perhaps in light of Sept11, osamin_shall_die_with_this_variable_0, fhlaehoiu23987y would have been better as well, R41D_RU37LZZZ_d15K5_0 or maybe an ascii art pictorial discription of the item, (I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to picture this).

    The only benifit of naming this the exact same way BSD did would be that it would be clearer and more easily understood for people who program many different unix based disk interfaces.

    But who really benifits from that? Escpecially when someone doesn't get credit for making the second variable in a struct, 'disk_number'.
  • by Sj0 (472011) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:00PM (#2348667) Homepage Journal
    You may be thinking "This is only a couple of header files, what's the big deal?". As Søren says "The problem here is that the structures in the headers is the whole story. That info tells how you read the proprietary struct off the disks, and was reverse engineered and documented by me after a lot of effort." Søren's intellectual property is tied up in those files.

    Am I the only one who found this strange? The idea that by reverse engineering a piece of hardware, you are suddenly the IP holder? I could see the hardware manufacturers making such a claim, but a third party driver writer? I did some engineering to make a fast video routine for modeX, and I hardly think that I can claim IP rights over the modeX architecture...

    On the other hand, if the person who wrote it wants some credit, give him some credit. That's all I ask for when I give code away, so I can see why that could be annoying. It probably was an honest mistake on the part of the kernel developer though, I know that a couple times I've released a program and forgotten to put some copyright or some such in it. Incidently, that's why I usually just write my own code from scratch now.
  • by ReelOddeeo (115880) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:00PM (#2348673)
    I haven't looked at the two sources in question, so I can't comment about how "close" they appear to be to each other.

    Suppose Bob writes an open source program. Then along comes John and examines Bob's program, and learns crucial things from it. Such as how the frobulator encoder works. John then writes his own program which has a frobulator encoder, whose concepts are influenced heavily from what he learned by studying Bob's work.

    At what point is John stealing Bob's work?

    • When he studies Bob's source? (Thus carrying away intellectual property in his head! Worse, maybe even violating copyright from inside his brain.)
    • When he uses Bob's concepts? Especially if Bob worked hard to come up with some novel approach. Or if a significant part of Bob's effort was laying out the structure in a particular way?
    • If he uses the same identifiers, or identifier structure as Bob did? (What if John types in his own original code?)
    • If he simply cut&paste's a few lines from Bob's code. (How many? 1 line, 5 lines, 5000 lines?)

    This is a loaded question. (Just like: When does life begin, at conception or birth, or where inbetween.) Except our question here isn't quite as emotionally charged. (Well, maybe it is for us.)

    Back in 1979, I would help other students with their programs. Sometimes after making sure they understood the algorithm, and were writing the code, we would end up with what basically amounts to my design. Should I just make sure that I use different variable names? Should I introduce frivolous structural changes to the program so the instructor doesn't think someone is cheating? (Of course, I became so notorious with my instructors that this problem never came up -- they knew me well enough.) And the other student did end up actually accomplishing the learning.

    Returning to my above example. Should John make sure to rename the members of the structure? Alter it stylistically? After all, Bob did the hard gruntwork. In some sense Bob should get credit. What if Bob doesn't want to license or give any permission? Can Bob withhold the know how of how the frobulator encoder works -- especially if it is embedded within open source?

    Cearly, the ideal thing would be for John to contact Bob. But this takes time and effort. If John had simply renamed identifiers and altered the style, would an issue ever be raised on Slashdot in the future? (Even if Bob someday examined John's code and noticed the similarity, of concepts, if not actual cut&paste lines?)

    And as I first stated, I haven't examined the sources, and this may be a very clear case of cut&past without any credit given. These questions are intended to be hypothetical. Any resemblance to actual persons or events is purely cooincidental and unintentional.
    • Doesn't matter. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by booch (4157)
      It doesn't matter how much code or ideas you borrow. With Open Source code, all you really have to do is give credit where credit is due. (Assuming the licenses are compatible, which they generally are when using Open Source.) And you should really be crediting people for what they've done to help you even if it isn't required.
    • by Arandir (19206)
      At what point is John stealing Bob's work?
      When he studies Bob's source?


      No.

      When he uses Bob's concepts?

      No.

      If he uses the same identifiers, or identifier structure as Bob did?

      No.

      If he simply cut&paste's a few lines from Bob's code.

      No.

      You forgot one bullet point:

      If he violates Bob's copyright and license.

      Yes. Assuming Bob's code is under the BSD license, then John can use it in any way he wishes, so long as he keeps the copyright untouched. But once he alters or removes the copyright line he is "stealing" Bob's work.

      What gets me is why some folks finds it so onerous to give credit where credit is due.
  • How it started... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:07PM (#2348714)
    http://uwsg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0012.3/0 538.html [iu.edu]

    > I've read everything that I can find regarding support of the Highpoint
    > controllers RAID functionality under Linux, and I understand what the issues
    > have been. The one promising bit of information that I dug up in this process is
    > that the 'pseudo' RAID functionality of the Highpoint and Promise IDE RAID
    > controllers is now supported in FreeBSD (4.2-RELEASE and 5.0-CURRENT). My
    > question is, can the new BSD code be leveraged to add support for these
    > controllers to the Linux kernel, and could we reasonably expect to see such
    > support in the near future?
    >
    > (I think that most all of the relevant/important bits are in ata-raid.c and/or
    > ata-raid.h. In
    > any event, the IDE/ATA guy over on the FreeBSD side is Soren Schmidt
    > (sos@freebsd.org), and he
    > wrote all of the stuff for this.
  • by ArjanVen (524354) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @03:34PM (#2348894)
    While it is no excuse for omitting the license/copyright text on the headerfile. However this issue has already been resolved within minutes after Søren notified me of the omission, to the satisfaction of Søren. Unfortionatly, Slasdhot only reports the first half of this, even though the second half of the story has been available for some time. In no way was or is it my intent to not give credit where credit is due.
  • by Eric Seppanen (79060) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:19PM (#2349205)
    While it sure would be nice, and right, to give credit, I'm not convinced that it's legally necessary.

    It seems likely to be that header file structure definitions are a functional description of how a piece of hardware works. And if that's the case, that information is no more copyrightable than the telephone book. And if it's not copyrightable, it's perfectly legal to remove the credits and license and redistribute however you want. Not right, mind you, but legal.

    Looks to me like he's screaming about copyright infringement and/or license violations without understanding the limited scope of copyright.

  • by pjrc (134994) <paul@pjrc.com> on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @04:28PM (#2349234) Homepage Journal
    A couple days ago, I started some work to port Nullsoft's NSIS Win32 Installer Builder [nullsoft.com] to a native linux app (that builds win32 installers). After converting several HANDLEs into FILE*'rs and just ifdef'ing out a few difficult bits that I don't care about, I ran into all sorts of constants that get defined somewhere in the giant mess that is #include<windows.h>. Lots of things like MB_OKCANCEL, MB_YESNOCANCEL, SW_SHOWMAXIMIZED, IDCANCEL, HOTKEYF_ALT, FILE_ATTRIBUTE_ARCHIVE, etc.

    After a few grim moments of comtemplating actually buying and installing Visual C++, it occured to me that these things are probably defined somewhere in the mingw stuff. Sure enough, I found them all in various headers within the mingw package. I copied all these (and a bunch of other little win32 kludges) into a win32stuff.h file that I started including in the various .cpp files.

    So did I cross the line? I copied a few dozen lines from various header files in the mingw package (I didn't mention in the file that I got them from the mingw project, but I probably should before I release the port to anyone). Did the the mingw guys copy this stuff from somewhere in all the stuff included by #include <windows.h> ??

    Ok, I'll admit that a bit struct that represents the on-disk format of something that was reverse engineered is a bit more substantial than a bunch of constants... but calling it "IP Theft" seems to be leaping to some strong conclusions. Even if both programmers did their reverse engineering independently, aside from using different names, there's not a lot of different ways the struct could look. Even if the linux developer did look at the BSD header file to learn the data formats, how different could one expect his code to possibly be ?? If it's an algorithm with some creative implementation, I can see the accusation, but over a header file that simply documents simple facts seems a bit much. Sure, it can be hard work to get those facts by reverse engineering, but still, the "IP Theft" is simple facts (not really protected by copyright, in my limited understanding of copyright law... IANAL).

    And finally, if Søren really does hope "an amicable solution can be reached", why's he turning this into a bunch of bad PR for linux and redhat ?? It's sounds to me like a case of getting mad and posting flames instead of cooling off for a day and thinking it through more carefully.

    As far as my porting work for Nullsoft's really cool (SuperPiMP) installer, I hit a big block of very win32 specific code, CEXEBuild::do_add_file at the end of script.cpp. Unlike many of the other bits that I ifdef'd out, this is the one that actually puts the files into the install image, so I can't just chop it off. I will need to completely rewrite this using unix/posix APIs, probably using C library regex patterns instead of whatever wildcard matching win32's FindFirstFile does. I'll probably get back to porting NSIS in a week or two... I might even try rebooting and running it in windows a few times! And, I'm not going to lose any sleep over copying a few dozen constants out of someone else's header files.

  • Blame emacs (Score:4, Funny)

    by zeda (415) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @06:11PM (#2349912)
    He probably just hit M-x accidentally-remove-copyright-header in emacs.

    Happens to me all the time. Or was it diff --remove-copyright-header.
  • by thorpej (316096) on Tuesday September 25, 2001 @09:59PM (#2350830)
    Check out the very first revisions of the Linux compatibility module in FreeBSD. It looks quite a lot like the NetBSD Linux compatibility module of the same vintage, which was written by Frank van der Linden and committed to the NetBSD source tree (which was the first public release of that code) -- yet all the files say Soren Schmidt at the top.. Amazing!
  • patch-to-2.4.10 (Score:4, Informative)

    by TitaniumFox (467977) on Wednesday September 26, 2001 @01:17AM (#2351370) Journal
    The Linux-IDE site has already been mentioned, but I thought it interesting to point out a particular part of it that hasn't been mentioned. This also follows up some of the "don't download 2.4.10 until proper credit is given" whiners.

    check out patch-to-2.4.10 [redhat.com]

    Try these few lines:
    +++ linux2410/drivers/ide/hptraid.h Mon Sep 24 10:35:39 2001
    @@ -1,4 +1,32 @@
    -
    +/*-
    + * Copyright (c) 2000,2001 Søren Schmidt
    + * All rights reserved.

    ...and also...

    +++ linux2410/drivers/ide/pdcraid.c Mon Sep 24 10:37:13 2001
    @@ -12,9 +12,7 @@

    Authors: Arjan van de Ven

    -
    -
    -
    + Based on work done by Søren Schmidt for FreeBSD

    That's good enough for me, plus, the timestamp on the patch file is Sept 24.

    Does anyone read patch files anymore? ;)

    TiFox
  • by jaju (62975) <ravindra.jajuNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday September 26, 2001 @04:44AM (#2351629) Homepage
    (Modified a bit because the comments.pl on slashdot would crib about some junk chars)

    It is clear that BSD is going off the deep end.

    Linux ATA Development has a Legal signed NDA for the proper development of
    the complete and correct FastTrak(tm) open sources driver.

    I will soon publish the complete header codes in a original header w/
    a Linux ATA Development Copyright and Promise Technologies Copyright.
    The driver will have a GPL statement be issued in the headers and source
    files to prevent the usage in BSDish environments. I have not tolerance
    for being labled a thief.

    I will prove the point that Linux does not "STEAL IP", then watch BSD
    "borrow" from Linux. Just like we will watch 48-BIT Addressing be
    borrowed without credit. Just like we will watch the new Ultra133 drivers
    be borrowed without credit. BSD has no legal documentation to develop
    these changes or access to hardware. We will watch and prove where IP
    comes from in the world of storage.

    Ever noticed how Linux had Ultra100 support 10 minutes after the release
    of public information on June 5, 2000 8:00am PDT?

    For now the Linux Open Source drivers for SoftRAID need to go away.
    Not to worry they will return in full swing.

    Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 11:32:52 -0800
    From: ---deleted---
    To: Andre Hedrick
    Subject: RE: Research FastTrak66 Ultra ATA/66

    Hi Andre,
    Very interesting work, I can't guess how you did it. Here is our beta
    driver for the Fasttrak. This is the one I told you about. It uses our Raid
    engine (engine3.a). Sorry, but as I mentioned there is no possibility of us
    releasing the source code for this. However you can get a good idea of how
    the engine works by viewing our driver source. Please do not distribute
    this driver or the engine binary to anyone. I've included some quick
    documentation too, I remember there is one step missing but it is obvious.

    begin 600 FT03.TGZ
    <BIG SNIP>
    end

    Here is the proof that I could have done this long before the BSD folks
    had a clue about soft raid engines wrt addon cards.

    Regards,
    Andre Hedrick

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]

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