LLVM Developers Are Still Working On Their Massive Relicensing Effort

Written by Michael Larabel in LLVM on 21 December 2018 at 04:12 PM EST. 4 Comments
It's been over three years since the original proposal for re-licensing the LLVM compiler infrastructure and while they have reached community consensus on their new "Apache 2.0 with LLVM Exception" license, there's still a big task at hand of getting all past contributors signing off on the process.

The LLVM Foundation has been working on this big code re-licensing initiative in order to motivate new contributors, better protect users of LLVM code, protect contributors, and ensure a great ecosystem both for open and closed-source vendors. The re-licensing is about moving from a University of Illinois / NCSA Open-Source License (based on MIT/X11 and 3-clause BSD) and over to the Apache 2.0 license with an exception. The "LLVM Exception" to Apache 2.0 is for code compiled by LLVM to not impose the same redistribution conditions and when pairing LLVM code with GPLv2 code the user can opt for the indemnity provision. The expected new LLVM license in full can be read here.

Longtime LLVM developer and current member of the LLVM Foundation Board of Directors, Chandler Carruth, has provided a holiday update on this relicensing effort. "We are making fantastic progress, with well over 500 individual agreements completed. This covers over 73% of committers and over 80% of commits in the last 6 months, and over 63% of committers and over 74% of commits in the last 2 years."

Still though they are looking for better coverage from past/current contributors before switching over the license. To help in getting contributors signed off, starting on 14 January they will disable commit access to anyone who isn't yet covered by their agreement form on this new license. They will also continue pinging past contributors to help get this agreement rate higher.
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