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AMD R600 LLVM Back-End Called For Inclusion

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  • AMD R600 LLVM Back-End Called For Inclusion

    Phoronix: AMD R600 LLVM Back-End Called For Inclusion

    Tom Stellard of AMD has called upon the LLVM developers to include the R600 GPU back-end into the LLVM project, which is the code for generating compute and graphics shaders inside the LLVM compiler infrastructure for targeting Radeon HD 2000 through HD 6000 series graphics processors...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTA3NzI

  • #2
    "but the AMD IL code has a clause concerning US export laws for where this can be utilized

    Which is retarded. Having such a clause doesn't change whether something is legal or not, it just makes the license non-open/non-free. Why must AMD help the US government's legal colonization of other countries?
    Last edited by DaemonFC; 03-27-2012, 12:45 AM.

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    • #3
      This is another of those "debated areas" as far as I know. Section 8 of GPLv2 explicitly talks about geographical restrictions, and section 7 (IIRC) talks about complying with other regs & requirements. IIRC it's the view that "adding these restrictions to the license doesn't actually help" which has broader support, not "these restrictions are incompatible with <license>".

      The FSF does argue strongly against them in the "free sw" introduction, but GPLv2 and others do include some explicit support for them.

      I don't know the correct answer, just that if you ask three people you're definitely getting more than one answer (and there are only two possible ).

      If you're asking why the initial release of code had this license, it's just because we could release a lot earlier with this license than with something else. Getting agreement that something less is safe and applicable takes longer, and we wanted the code out in public repos so other developers could work with it.

      If you're asking "why does AMD have to follow US law" it's that "being headquartered in the US" thing AFAIK.
      Last edited by bridgman; 03-27-2012, 01:53 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bridgman View Post
        This is another of those "debated areas" as far as I know. Section 8 of GPLv2 explicitly talks about geographical restrictions, and section 7 (IIRC) talks about complying with other regs & requirements. IIRC it's the view that "adding these restrictions to the license doesn't actually help" which has broader support, not "these restrictions are incompatible with <license>".

        The FSF does argue strongly against them in the "free sw" introduction, but GPLv2 and others do include some explicit support for them.

        I don't know the correct answer, just that if you ask three people you're definitely getting more than one answer (and there are only two possible ).

        If you're asking why the initial release of code had this license, it's just because we could release a lot earlier with this license than with something else. Getting agreement that something less is safe and applicable takes longer, and we wanted the code out in public repos so other developers could work with it.

        If you're asking "why does AMD have to follow US law" it's that "being headquartered in the US" thing AFAIK.
        My understanding can be given in this hypothetical situation.

        I want to give a copy of the code to help a friend who lives in a country the US government forbids me from helping.

        Normally I'd work around this problem by giving a copy to someone in Canada who offers it to someone in the country that US law forbids me from helping.

        I haven't don't anything wrong. The law might be unjust, but I can't be expected to change the law of the United States and what I did was maybe the only way I could help someone without running afoul of the US law and possibly being convicted under it if I had helped that person directly.

        Enter this problem of US export restrictions being put into the license. Now if I give a copy to someone in Canada, he's violating AMD's copyrights if he turns around to give a copy to someone in a country the US government doesn't like, even though the export restrictions themselves might not be the law in Canada.

        So AMD's license is just like the BSD license, except that it's not and it unilaterally strips the rights of tens of millions of people to use the code, based on a list of who the US federal government doesn't like.

        You've gone WAY past the legal requirements of AMD, which is to not directly give a copy of the code to a prohibited person. Most companies don't misuse copyright like AMD has done. Most companies would have simply put something on THEIR download page that said people in one of those countries couldn't download it FROM THEM DIRECTLY.

        It's sad that you'll probably get your non-free/non-open code into LLVM and cause an unnecessary legal encumbrance with it. I hope they reject it and tell you to fix your restrictive license.
        Last edited by DaemonFC; 03-27-2012, 02:04 AM.

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        • #5
          Check out section 5 :

          http://www.opensource.org/osd.html

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bridgman View Post
            Right. Section 5.

            Some countries, including the United States, have export restrictions for certain types of software. An OSD-conformant license may warn licensees of applicable restrictions and remind them that they are obliged to obey the law; however, it may not incorporate such restrictions itself.
            Which is, EXACTLY what your license tries to do. And I quote...

            // If you use the software (in whole or in part), you shall adhere to all
            // applicable U.S., European, and other export laws, including but not limited
            // to the U.S. Export Administration Regulations
            This makes your code, not OSI-compliant open source. Please fix it to make it open source.

            You could change it to say "We urge US, European, and other citizens to check their local export laws before distributing this software." and be in compliance with that section. As it is, you are most certainly not.

            Edit: This also bounds me, an American, to European law, and if I don't obey law I'm not bound by, I violate AMD's nasty license. As well as "other" laws, so I have to comply with every export law in the world now? What happens if I have to violate Russian export control laws to satisy Uzbekistan's? Even though I'm an American?
            Last edited by DaemonFC; 03-27-2012, 02:13 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DaemonFC View Post
              Now if I give a copy to someone in Canada, he's violating AMD's copyrights if he turns around to give a copy to someone in a country the US government doesn't like, even though the export restrictions themselves might not be the law in Canada.
              I think what you just described *is* US law... A gives it to B only if B agrees to same rules. It's certainly what all the standard shipping docco has said for the last 30 years (long before I joined ATI/AMD). Not 100% sure though -- I live in Canada

              Anyways, as Tom already said we can work on changing the license if the majority interpretation is that it's a problem... just takes longer and takes time away from doing more useful work.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DaemonFC View Post
                You could change it to say "We urge US, European, and other citizens to check their local export laws before distributing this software." and be in compliance with that section. As it is, you are most certainly not.
                I believe section 5 says "remind them that they are required to obey the law", not "urge", "suggest", "request" or "ask nicely"...

                Anyways, not sure if you're a lawyer but I'm definitely not, so we probably won't be able to close this here.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                  I think what you just described *is* US law... A gives it to B only if B agrees to same rules. It's certainly what all the standard shipping docco has said for the last 30 years (long before I joined ATI/AMD). Not 100% sure though -- I live in Canada

                  Anyways, as Tom already said we can work on changing the license if the majority interpretation is that it's a problem... just takes longer and takes time away from doing more useful work.
                  Oh dammit, wouldn't you know it? He told me he wouldn't and then he did it. Fuck. Oh well....
                  Last edited by DaemonFC; 03-27-2012, 02:17 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                    I believe section 5 says "remind them that they are required to obey the law", not "urge", "suggest", "request" or "ask nicely"...

                    Anyways, not sure if you're a lawyer but I'm definitely not, so we probably won't be able to close this here.
                    Well, I hope that anyone interested in distributing your software gets you to fix the license or just deletes that entire section of code. It's bad enough that Mesa is accepting non-free, non-open code like MLAA already.

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                    • #11
                      It happens. AFAIK *we* don't have to send the ninja assassins to your house though...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                        It happens. AFAIK *we* don't have to send the ninja assassins to your house though...
                        Then you shouldn't have a problem with removing the parts that give you the right to "send ninja assassins to my house."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DaemonFC View Post
                          Well, I hope that anyone interested in distributing your software gets you to fix the license or just deletes that entire section of code. It's bad enough that Mesa is accepting non-free, non-open code like MLAA already.
                          I don't know what will happen. A whole pile of lawyers feel that standard license text *is* open source compatible... as I said, we just wanted to get the code out in public quickly so went with the standard license until we at least knew where the code was going to end up. We were initially thinking it would fetch up in clover or mesa but current thinking is llvm.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DaemonFC View Post
                            Then you shouldn't have a problem with removing the parts that give you the right to "send ninja assassins to my house."
                            Already done AFAIK. If you see anything about ninjas in the license agreement let me know and I'll take it back to legal.

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                            • #15
                              This is exactly the kind of crap that makes its way into licenses that claim to be open source and makes them not open source.

                              If I want to use the software to make nuclear bombs to drop on Australia, then a prohibition on making nuclear bombs to drop on Australia would be outside the scope of an open source license. (Of course it would still be illegal, but you don't get to tell me not to do it with a copyright license then claim that license is free and open)

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