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Re: Merging Apple's Objective-C 2.0 compiler changes

On 09/09/2010 12:01, Mike Stump wrote:
> On Sep 9, 2010, at 3:11 AM, Nicola Pero wrote:
>> Can we (legally) merge Apple's Objective-C / Objective-C++ modifications
>> to GCC into FSF GCC trunk ?
> My take, you'd have to ask either the FSF lawyers or Apple, I'm neither.
> Chris Lattner could provide an Apple answer, I'd recommend contacting him.

  We've just had a similar discussion on the binutils list about some changes
in Atmel's AVR32 compilers, and the conclusion we arrived at was that this
can't "just be done" by a third party, even in the presence of a blanket
corporate assignment:

>> If we start producing patches to the current FSF GCC trunk that merge
>> these modifications, would they be accepted ?
> Sure, after Apple or the FSF (or someone else around here) weighs in on the
> matter.  I wouldn't expect it to be a problem, as Apple does have an
> assignment and Apple does own the work in question and Apple does
> distribute it to the general public under a GPL v 2 or later clause.  

  But: the assignment only applies to patches that are *explicitly* submitted
by the copyright holder to the FSF (via the -patches list or similar suitable
mechanism) for inclusion in the upstream source base.  (Anything they only use
internally rather than distribute, for example, they don't have to submit or
assign, and even anything they distribute publicly, they aren't obliged to
send upstream, just to fulfill the source guarantee to downstream recipients.)

  *Until and unless* Apple itself submits the code to the FSF, Apple retains
the copyright; which means that nobody else has the right to submit it to the
FSF.  (Unless Apple gives /them/ (the hypothetical third party) an assignment
that allows them to sub-assign.... but that sounds even more complicated to me.)


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