RetroBSD

2.11BSD operating system for microcontrollers
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 Post subject: License Audit
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:39 am 
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EDITED 12 June to reflect the tree.

src/cmd/cron should be updated via NetBSD(/OpenBSD?) (ISC licensed)

contrib/ directory stuff:
src/cmd/lcc: Same as src/cmd/lccom
src/cmd/lccom: This has a "May not sell" license clause
src/cmd/sre: This is GPLv3+
src/cmd/unixbench: This is GPLv2+
src/cmd/virus: This is GPLv2+
src/cmd/zmodem: This has a non-commercial/education only license. Commercial uses require payment to a third party!

The following affects the kernel:
The PIC32 SDK is copyrighted (see for example, sys/pic32/usb_device.h). I have no idea if it's better to leave it as-is or try to rewrite the copyrighted parts, though I personally lean towards the latter. Discussed

The following libraries need better licensing:
src/libwiznet/w5100.c: This is GPLv2 only or LGPLv2.1 only. GPLv2 is obviously unacceptable in the base OS but LGPLv2.1 should not be "preferred" over the GPL under any circumstances for the base OS either. Discussed. Possible contrib/ candidate unless someone wants to rewrite the affected file.

The following build tools may or may not desire better licensing:
tools/virtualmips: The LICENSE file states: "The following points clarify the virtualmips license: virtualmips as a whole is released under the GNU General Public License." According to the GPL itself we can choose any version (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html Clause 14: "If the Program does not specify a version number of the GNU General Public License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation."). I am going to choose GPLv1 only.

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Last edited by ibara on Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 1:47 pm 
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Hi bcallah,

NICE WORK !! Glad to see real attention to this important issue!

Not to start a rant war, but I suspect experience with USB would reveal some REAL horror stories.

And another important question:

Are there any problems with SD use in RetroBSD or derivative commercial products?

Wiz


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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 2:18 pm 
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wiz wrote:
Are there any problems with SD use in RetroBSD or derivative commercial products?

Are you talking about the physical medium? I don't know of any issues with distributing things on an SD card.

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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:15 pm 
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Hi,

No, I was wondering if 'use' of an SD card in a commercial design would result in being asked for some sort of royalty or license. Especially since I notice that Maximite no longer features SD? This causes me to wonder if some fat cat is waiting for a piece of my pie if I put an SD card in it?

I understand this sort of problem IS the case for USB. That notwithstanding, supporting a USB memory stick would also be neat for RetroBSD.

Wiz


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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 3:34 pm 
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I'm not sure. It's definitely an interesting question but I think it's a bit outside of scope of what we should be accomplishing now (that is: getting the software licenses in order).

Like everything else, one step at a time. :)

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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 5:40 pm 
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Hi ibara,

Yup. Point well taken.

I was hoping someone in the group had some experience.

Wiz


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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:31 pm 

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:04 pm
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For USB you can't do a pile of things without paying big money - eg issue USB vendor identifiers, add USB logos or claim compliance. But they are 'fun' people, they even demand you fill in a form for daring to link to their website!

For a subset of devices the usual get-out is that some USB vendor members issue device ids under their vendor id to third parties. Several of the serial chip vendors do this.

Not aware of anything for SD. If you are building hardware then its normal to ensure that all the component vendors for anything that might have patents include the relevant licenses, or to simply do the work far beyond the reaches of the American empire.

Generally though the one that gets people upset is claiming any kind of compliance or implying any official support or test suite has been passed when it hasn't. They tend to be very protective of this as things like USB "just work" because they work so hard on validation and compliance.


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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:19 am 
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If you are building a hardware product involving Microchip products then Microchip will gladly issue a "development" USB ID for you - for (IIRC) up to 10,000 devices. Any more than that and you have to either get your own VID or pay MCHP for a bigger contract.

TBH most people in our situation just make up their own VID/PID and don't declare any kind of compatibility or compliance.

The most common VID for people to make up their own PIDs under is VID 0x1781 - "Multiple Vendors" - that way it doesn't show up as being any one specific company.

But yeah, mostly it's all about when you're allowed to put a certain logo on your product - you can only put the USB logo on your product if you have USB compliance, and you only get that through licensing with the USB nobs. The same may hold true for SD cards - you can only put the SD logo on your product if you license it from the SD group, but I'm not sure on that. Just using these things in a product is generally neither here nor there to the patent holders or management groups. If you had to sign up to a license to use an SD card every time you wanted to put one in your camera then they'd just not ever get used.

It's like driving a car. You can drive any old banger around your property or your friend's property without needing a license - but when you want to drive on the roads you need a license - and an MOT (or your country's equivalent) to make sure the car won't fall apart and cause an accident while you're driving it.

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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:28 pm 
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Hi All,

And Thanks.

I keep thinking I 'should' do a RetroBSD 'product'. and make it generally available.

If well done, it would probably help all of us! Pic32pi or Pic32Black? Maybe even with MZ?

The IP (Intellectual Property) game is a possible problem. So far I don't know of any 'problems' with SD at least the SPI flavor. And "usb" support could be added by some 'publicly' available driver :). (So that memory sticks could also serve as memory.)

Anyways I have a bunch of cases that I could just do a board for.

IMHO - we are getting close to a pretty good stand alone dev. system.

Lots of fun.

Wiz


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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:18 pm 
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I'd like to (try) to steer this back on track. OK, so we discussed the kernel stuff but there are still other parts of the tree (like libc!) that could use license attention.

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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:25 pm 
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Hi ibarra,

Good project.

Good idea.

Not sure how I can help?

Wiz


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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:08 pm 
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Rewrite poorly-licensed files. Top priorities from my vantage point would be src/cmd/as, src/libwiznet/w5100.c, and src/cmd/virus. Probably in that order.

src/libc/gen/modff.c is copyrighted to Serge, so in this case we can just ask: Serge, would you mind relicensing that file to an ISC or BSD license?

The other things under cmd (minus cron, cron should stay put) can be pushed to some sort of contrib/ directory (take a look at what FreeBSD does with their contrib/ directory or OpenBSD with the gnu/ directory for how to do it). This is probably the "easiest" thing, since all you're doing to moving directories around the tree and writing basic hookup Makefiles. If you're not sure what to tackle, do that. Because it then lets people port whatever other programs they want without worrying about tainting the RetroBSD tree as a whole.

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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:44 pm 
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Hi Brian,

Thanks for your license review. It seems a right time to clean up all these issues.

src/cmd/as: Assembler by itself is OK, but the disassembler utility 'aout' reuses some GNU binutils sources. I will move aout to separate directory, to not mess it with as.

src/cmd/cron: NetBSD version of cron also is a good candidate (ISC as well).

src/cmd/lccom, src/cmd/sre, src/cmd/unixbench, src/cmd/virus,
src/cmd/zmodem: We can move these to contrib/ directory.

USB support in the kernel is a heavily modified code from Microchip Library. It's royalty-free, but has a very restrictive license. It would be great to replace it eventually with something like M-Stack.

src/libwiznet/w5100c: This is based on Arduino libraries. I don't see any easy way to get rid of GPL here. Better to move to contrib/.

src/libc/gen/modff.c: The code has it's roots in NetBSD. The license should not differ from modf.c. I will change it.

tools/virtualmips: Move to contrib/.

tools/fsutil: It's all my code. I will change the license to BSD style.

--Serge


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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:06 pm 
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Hey Serge - thanks! I've updated my original post to reflect the changes.

FWIW, I don't think we need to move things under tools/ to another directory. AFAIK, tools/ isn't RetroBSD itself, they're just things that make working with RetroBSD easier, right? Nothing in there would show up in a RetroBSD binary.

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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:28 pm 
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Added src/cmd/lcc to the list. It looks like it's part of lccom?

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 Post subject: Re: License Audit
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:50 pm 
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Yes, lcc comes from lccom package. I believe we can replace it with src/cmd/cc eventually.


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