Boost logo

Boost :

Subject: Re: [boost] Legal problem with Stackoverflow contribution under the "Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0" license
From: Niall Douglas (s_sourceforge_at_[hidden])
Date: 2018-02-19 20:41:11

>> As I've already said on boost-steering regarding this issue, I feel
>> the code snippet in question falls under the fair use exemption.
> I'm not a lawyer but...
> Better to rewrite this from scratch in terms of boost::atomic_uint64_t
> IMO. The algorithm is straightforward.

The only reason that the OP raised my specific code is because I
followed proper etiquette and linked the snippet back to its
stackoverflow source so if bugs/questions/curiosity about the weird
looking code ever occurred, the reader would have a URL to more
information. This is good practice, Boost's by far most important
contribution to C++ is for study by others.

There are many other instances of stackoverflow snippets being in Boost,
or the other way round, most of which are not linked. Nobody can say
where they originated.

The OP only raised my code because I had followed good etiquette. Others
may not have done so, and may have "polluted" Boost significantly with
"foreign" code. There is software available to check for this incidentally.

But it's a non-point. If you follow the full discussion of the reuse of
snippets on stackoverflow, reuse of small pieces of code which are not
self standing programs, or functionality in themselves, is not copyright
infringement in most jurisdictions. cf,_Inc._v._Google,_Inc. after

Now, one can go overboard and insist that no "foreign" code ever exist
in Boost. If the OP really cares enough about this, let him go ahead and
rewrite the code and submit a pull request, though if I were maintainer,
I'd refuse such a pull request because it would actively detract from
the readability and value of the code.

My opinion is that this is a non-issue, and more importantly, a position
needs to be taken on going down such an unproductive path. There is no
such thing as pure, wholly original code. The originality lies outside
copy and pasting small individual parts, as indeed the Oracle vs Google
case result showed, and which is now established case law in the US.


ned Productions Limited Consulting

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at