This is the mail archive of the mailing list for the eCos project.

Index Nav: [Date Index] [Subject Index] [Author Index] [Thread Index]
Message Nav: [Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]
Other format: [Raw text]

Re: Serial VS Diagnostic interface

Chris Zimman wrote:
>> Actually, my UART (which is a synthetisable IP eventually), has a
>> slight modification from the original 16X5X behavior. I have added a
>> DEFINE in order to declare an extra register and do some extra checks
>> in the Init and DSR functions.
>> This is quite an odd situation, because the documentation of the IP is
>> subject to non disclosure, but the fact that I modified some GPL code
>> means I should provide my modifications. I have thought of two
>> solutions: continuing with my old driver so that no GPL applies, or
>> propose a patch with the modifications without documenting for which
>> IP vendor it applies, and in which configuration...
> If this is IP that was customized by you (eg. presumably specific to a given
> part), why would a patch need to go back into the mainline tree?

I think he means the driver was customised, to adapt to the IP.

Andrew: in case it's any help, the GPL clause 3(a) releases you from any
obligation to make public any source code *provided* that you accompany any
binary image (or product containing the binary image) with the relevant
source code. This means that if you are only distributing it to people who
have also already signed the NDA, then as long as you include the source
code with it at the same time you should be ok (I should add a disclaimer:
I am not a lawyer!). If they want to distribute it further, it's up to them
to comply with the licence.

I believe the potential conflict with NDAs is dealt with under GPL clause
7, essentially: "If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously
your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations,
then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. "

So your own driver might be the better solution. I would doubt that having
a patch but not documenting the IP vendor would be sufficient to avoid the
letter of your NDA.

Alternatively it may be easiest to ping whoever you have the NDA with to
ask if its ok to make public code using that register. It doesn't sound to
me like one particular register in a UART is something that is really the
focus of the private IP they are trying to conceal by NDA. A lot of
companies just habitually have NDAs for everything that they aren't
actually making public themselves.

Of course I Am Not A Lawyer.

eCosCentric Limited     The eCos experts
Barnwell House, Barnwell Drive, Cambridge, UK.       Tel: +44 1223 245571
Registered in England and Wales: Reg No 4422071.
------["Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere"]------       Opinions==mine

Index Nav: [Date Index] [Subject Index] [Author Index] [Thread Index]
Message Nav: [Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]