On Fri, Apr 07, 2017 at 10:38:36PM +0100, rikki cattermole via 
Digitalmars-d-announce wrote:
> On 07/04/2017 10:03 PM, WhatMeWorry wrote:
> > I've been coding in D for years now but was unaware of this issue.
> > Could someone give this licensing neophyte an explanation and some
> > history?
> So dmd's backend came directly from dmc. This makes sense as this is
> the time of Digital Mars creation (Walter has been working with this
> code base pretty much since before I was born).
> Because of how history went, it was owned by Symantic yet Digital Mars
> still developed it.
> So its usage within dmd caused problems, i.e. with packaging and
> distributing because it required explicit permission from Digital Mars
> so that Symantic wouldn't get sued.
> Maybe Walter can clarify but this is what I have gathered over the
> years.

There's also the aspect, AIUI, that Walter has refrained from looking at
/ contributing to the code for any other compiler backend, in order to
avoid legal complications arising from possible "tainting" from the dmd
backend code. E.g., if he were to submit a patch to the gcc backend,
Symantec could in theory come back and sue the gcc guys claiming that
their code is based on the dmc backend and so they have to pay
royalties.  Or if he were to read the code for gcc's backend, Symantec
could in theory accuse him of incorporating GPL code into the dmc
backend (since he's still working on the backend every now and then),
which is incompatible with the license.

Of course, IANAL so this relicensing may not necessarily imply that
Walter is now free to read / work on other compiler backends. Nor does
he necessarily want to do so anyway.

But regardless, this is a major step forward at least in the aspect of
finally putting to rest the "D is non-free" FUD that's been spreading
around over the years.


Bare foot: (n.) A device for locating thumb tacks on the floor.

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