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From: pbristow_at_[hidden]
Date: 2019-08-27 08:30:53

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Boost <boost-bounces_at_[hidden]> On Behalf Of Ion Gaztañaga via
> Boost
> Sent: 26 August 2019 00:02
> To: Michael Caisse via Boost <boost_at_[hidden]>
> Cc: Ion Gaztañaga <igaztanaga_at_[hidden]>
> Subject: Re: [boost] [Boost-users] License Issue with boost_intrusive
> On 22/08/2019 21:37, Michael Caisse via Boost wrote:
> > Copying to dev ML.
> >
> > On 8/22/19 12:05, Gerald Wiltse via Boost-users wrote:
> >> During an annual third-party audit of our source code, boost
> >> intrusive was flagged as containing unlicensed code. Specifically,
> >> there are several pieces of code in this file which are explicitly
> >> attributed to external parties on external websites, which still
> >> exist and show no license.
> >>
> >>
> >> usive/detail/math.hpp#L156-L158
> >>
> >>
> >> usive/detail/math.hpp#L207-L208
> >>
> >>
> >> Original sources:
> >>
> >> r-64-bit-integers
> >>
> >>
> >> I don't claim to be a license expert. I've read a lot over the years,
> >> but this is the first time that I've actually been between an
> >> attorney and a codebase having to figure out practical implications
> >> of a scenario like this.
> >>
> >> I first want to make sure that Boost committee is aware of this situation.
> >>
> >> Second, I would like to know what the official conclusion would be
> >> from the Boost Committee about the license implications in cases like these.
> >> Maybe it has come up before and is well established. On the surface,
> >> the implications seems ambiguous to me when: DEVELOPER_A takes
> >> unlicensed code off the internet, prefixes it with a comment that
> >> says "Thanks to DEVELOPER_B ", then prefixes the whole file with a
> >> file-level copyright notice that says "COPYRIGHT DEVELOPER_A", and
> >> then says it's distributed under BSL-1.0 license, and then the boost
> >> team re-distributes the source code.
> >>
> >> Internally at my company, there was little discussion about it.
> >> There is no room for ambiguity, so the directive from management was
> >> to delete the file from our SCM system completely and ensure it never
> >> is included in our products. VERY fortunately, deleting it doesn't
> >> seem to have broken our builds. In future cases like this, that's
> >> really not what we want to be doing with your OSS libraries for
> >> obvious reasons. So, I'd like to know if there's any chance this
> >> situation changes in a future version of Boost (I.E., the code be
> >> removed/re-written with clean-room approach, etc).
> Hi,
> I didn't expect those snippets in the public domain of well-known methods could
> be a problem, and I explicitly thanked the authors.
> I could just remove that section as compiler-specified methods are available using
> clz and friends (that's why your build was not broken).

I think that nothing should be done without agreement from Boost's legal adviser because it sets a precedent.

I don't believe that Boost should just 'roll over and remove' when faced with this sort of criticism - it seems nonsense to me, but then IANAL 😉

If we could do things in the future, it is perhaps that we should get more people to agree to their names being added to the authors claiming copyright and agreeing to the licence, and keep a record of their agreement (an email will do).

And that we should give more details about the sources, references and their license terms.

My 2p.


Paul A. Bristow
Prizet Farmhouse
Kendal, Cumbria

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