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Re: [PATCH] MIPS support for --hash-style=gnu

On 04/20/2016 07:16 AM, Joseph Myers wrote:
On Tue, 19 Apr 2016, Neil Schellenberger (neschell) wrote:

  Have you been able to sort out your copyright assignment paperwork with
FSF meanwhile?

Sadly this remains stuck with Cisco's lawyers (despite repeated prodding).
I think my next move will be to try to get them to assign the code to me
so that I can assign it to the FSF.  (Sigh.)

At one point Cisco had a process for doing this; copyright.list has

ANY     Cisco Systems, Inc.     2010-9-30
Agreement to transfer copyrights in future via "Software Letters".
Michael Enescu (CTO Open Source Initiatives)

and then a series of subsequent assignments for particular GNU packages
naming particular authorized people (but I see Michael Enescu is no longer
at Cisco).

The Cisco process is complex. The Cisco/FSF copyright assignment only allows the FSF to accept code from Cisco. There is a separate Cisco internal process that has to be completed in order for Cisco folks to submit code to the FSF. The Cisco/FSF copyright assignment requires software letters, that names specific people and specific projects. If you don't have a software letter, the FSF can't accept code from you. The internal process requires about half a dozen signatures from different people in different groups at Cisco at different levels of the management chain. The internal process also puts a number of restrictions on what can be contributed, and how it can be contributed. You will likely have to complete the internal process before you can get a software letter. With the internal process complete, it takes about 6 months to get a new software letter if you want to change the list of names.

When I was at Cisco, it took me 3 years to get permission to contribute gcc patches under reasonable terms. And that was after the Cisco/FSF Copyright Assignment had already been signed.

I spent 4.5 year trying to get permission to contribute binutils patches, and then gave up and left. The remnants of this attempt should still be open in the Cisco Open Source Initiative database. You should try talking to the Cisco compiler group.

I tried the personal assignment route, and that went nowhere. I couldn't get a usable disclaimer from Cisco.

I was working with Michael Enescu. Now that he is gone, I don't know if that will make things easier or harder.

Part of the trouble with Cisco stems from the deal to buy Linksys, which eventually led to the FSF filing a GPL violation lawsuit against Linksys/Cisco, which required Cisco to accept a settlement. This made the Cisco lawyers very reluctant to deal with anything FSF related. I would expect that this issue will eventually die down, but not sure if enough time has passed yet.


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