[LLVMdev] Offer of membership to LLVM into the Software Freedom Conservancy, Inc.

John Criswell criswell at illinois.edu
Wed Sep 19 17:47:29 PDT 2012

On 9/19/12 6:04 PM, Owen Anderson wrote:
> On Sep 19, 2012, at 3:56 PM, dag at cray.com wrote:
>> Chris Lattner <clattner at apple.com> writes:
>>> We are not interested in copyright enforcement at all.  In personal
>>> discussions with Bradley, he mentioned that they may be able to help
>>> us move the codebase to the MIT license, which would clarify that
>>> issue as well as resolve the current issues around runtime libraries.
>> Thanks for clarifying, this is helpful.  What's the motivation for
>> moving to the MIT license?  Something more than general familiarity?
>> What's the issue with runtime libraries?
> I Am Not A Lawyer, etc….
> My understanding is that the issue is about the "advertising" clause in the UIUC license, similar to old-style BSD licenses.

Disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer.

Maybe I'm missing something, but the UIUC license does not have the 
infamous advertising clause.  The infamous BSD advertising clause 
required any *advertisements* to note the names of contributors; that 
gets problematic when you have lots of contributors.  LLVM has never had 
this problem as we made sure to avoid it from the very beginning.

> It generally isn't much of a problem to reproduce the copyright header in the documentation for a compiler that is based on LLVM.

Correct.  Furthermore, I think it's a desirable feature of the license.

>    However, it's not an appropriate clause for a runtime library that will be linked into applications compiled *by* LLVM.  We don't want to force our users to have an LLVM copyright header included with their binaries just because we linked them against compiler-rt.  That is why compiler-rt is dual licensed with the MIT license today.

It sounds like your concern is with the clause that requires binary 
distributions of the code to contain the copyright notice and other 
legal stuff.  Just to be picky, that's not the infamous BSD advertising 
clause; you're talking about another (completely valid but different) 

That said, it sounds like compiler-rt is already dual licensed, so it 
seems like the problem is solved.  Is there another problem with the 
UIUC license on core LLVM?

-- John T.

> This, then, creates the issue that we have LLVM sub-projects that do not have the same license as the main project, which in turn means we can't free move code between the various sub-projects and the main project.  I know that the Address Sanitizer guys have had issues with this when developing their runtime library.
> --Owen
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