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Re: One unclear point in the Vim license

[ Is Bram on this list? ]

Thomas Bushnell, BSG wrote:
> Peter writes a GPLd program. The John distributes a copy of the GPLd
> program to Mary, and he must give Mary the source.  He does not have
> to give the source to Peter.  He and Mary are allowed to keep the
> changes entirely secret if they want to, and this is an important
> freedom.

For a concrete example of this, during the initial port of linux to the
ia64 architecture, a number of companies and individuals worked with
Intel to do the port before ia64 was released[1]. For various reasons this
work had to be done under a Intel NDA, and the modifications to linux
and various programs could not be publically released at the time.

They were shared amoung the various cooperating companies though, and
this was legal the same as John privatly distributing Peter's program to
Mary is legal, in the above example.

Eventually the NDA terms expired and the port was released en masse. And
the result was that linux got supported on this platform very early,
competing very well with other propriatary OS's.

Overall and given the constraints imposed by Intel, it was a good thing
for free software that the possibility to do the port that way exitsted.

see shy jo, who wasn't directly involved in this port and may have some
            minor details wrong, and who doubts that anyone violated vim's
            license in the process[2].

[1] Er, is it released now? Whatever.
[2] I doubt they had to do much to port vim, if they did at all. It was
    mostly lower-level stuff.

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