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Qualcomm DMCA Notice Takes Down 100+ Git Repositories

Free Software

Published on 04 July 2014 09:18 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
66 Comments

Qualcomm has forced GitHub to take down over 100 Git repositories over alleged copyright infringement.

Using the US Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), Qualcomm has forced GitHub to take down over 100 Git repositories on the basis of "Cyveillance has recently discovered the unauthorized publication, disclosure, and copying of highly sensitive, confidential, trade secret, and copyright-protected documents on the below web site. Specifically, we have confirmed that the documents whose locations and filenames identified below are confidential and proprietary to Qualcomm and were posted without Qualcomm’s permission."

Qualcomm threatens, "if you are disseminating or aiding and abetting the dissemination of these documents, you are violating Qualcomm’s intellectual property rights, and could be subject to severe civil and criminal penalties."

While this would be understandable if the document/code were indeed highly sensitive and confidential in nature, early reports are that Cyveillance acting for Qualcomm was effectively searching GitHub's repositories looking for any Qualcomm copyright statements, but some of Qualcomm's public code was also marked this way. The string was reported as, "Copyright (c) 2012 Qualcomm… All Rights Reserved. Qualcomm … Confidential and Proprietary." It appears that at least some of this code includes reference/sample code from Qualcomm that is publicly available via other means or even part of Qualcomm's Android kernel.

Among the affected Git repositories that have now been taken down by GitHub include a CyanogenMod repository, Sony Xperia Developer World, and dozens of other affected GitHub accounts.

Many of the referenced files as being requested for take-down are just header files, Android mk files, and even a few Java files. While GitHub replied with the request, some of the files that Qualcomm had removed can be found elsewhere, such as wlan_hdd_hostapd.c. That C file is part of the Android MSM kernel source tree and does contain a "Qualcomm Confidential and Proprietary" line while noting it's now under a Linux Foundation copyright. Here's another file hosted elsewhere that Qualcomm had taken down in repositories on GitHub.

Qualcomm DMCA Notice Takes Down 100+ Git Repositories

GitHub made Qualcomm's DMCA notice sent on 2 July publicly available via this page.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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