[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: GCC M3 frontend

My apologies for replying to such an old series of messages, but I just
discovered it now when browsing through the debian-legal archives.

As maintainer of the Polytechnique Modula-3 (PM3) port for Debian, this has
serious implications for me.  But more importantly, it has serious implications
for every implementation of Modula-3 that I am aware of, each and every single
one of which are apparently based on the original DEC SRC implementation.

If there is a GNU GPL violation going on here, we need to know about it, and more
importantly, we need to let everyone else using the DEC SRC base know about it,
and prevail upon Compaq to make a new release under non-violative terms.

Note that FreeBSD uses CVSup as their primary tool of source distribution, which
in turn is written in Modula-3, and built with the DEC SRC compiler.  So the
implications of a license violation are very large indeed to the free software
community.  As for Debian, we could pull CVSup and PM3 from the distribution
without creating a huge impact at this time, but some decision should be made
very soon as to whether this will be necessary.  I hope that it will not, but
I will leave the matter to those with greater expertise.

On 11/01/1999, Ian Jackson wrote:

> Richard Stallman writes:
> > What front-end is this?  I know nothing about it as yet.
> >
> > If the GPL is being violated for GCC, the FSF needs to take action.
> > But we need to know the facts first.
> > Would someone please send me a description of the situation?
> As I understand it, DEC SRC (now part of Compaq of course) released a
> Modula-3 frontend which uses GCC as a backend, with some kind of funny
> licence.  I know about it because apparently the Cambridge computer
> lab did some further work on it:
>  http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/m3doc/linux/cambridge.html
>  http://www.research.digital.com/SRC/modula-3/html/home.html
> The DEC SRC copyright is not GPL-compatible but appears to be intended
> to be at least somewhat free.  Persuading them to GPL it might be
> possible.  I enclose a copy.
> My apologies for assuming you (RMS) knew about this and not telling
> you about it.

Henning Makholm replied:

> The backend (which I found at
>    ftp://gatekeeper.dec.com/pub/DEC/Modula-3/release-3.6/m3cc.tar.gz
> ) is not pure GCC; they add (=link) in an m3.c which begins with
> /* Copyright (C) 1993, Digital Equipment Corporation                         */
> /* All rights reserved.                                                      */
> /* See the file COPYRIGHT for a full description.                            */
> where COPYRIGHT contains the funny license Ian quoted.
> The rest of the object files for that particular executable are
> GPLed with FSF's standard copyright blurb. Apparently they are
> from GCC 2.6.3 - there are small changes but no prominent notices
> stating the date of change in the changed files.
> The whole thing looks like a face-on violation of GPL 2(a,b).
> Probably similar abominations have happened to the debugger
> distributed as m3gdb.tar.gz in the same ftp directory.

And Bruce Perens replied to Henning:

> > The whole thing looks like a face-on violation of GPL 2(a,b).
> There is no question.
>         Bruce

Reply to: