Ok, you're right about lawsuits. Never though that so little things could have such consequences (I'm talking about tz lawsuit, don't think I say "copyright infringment is just a little problem").

However, I can't agree when people say the actual problem with mingw-w64 hypothetical copyright infringment. It is clearly not. The problem is dissagreements between devellopers. If the only problem was this, it would have been solved for years, only by examining sources, and licenses, and we would have a unique compiler supporting both x64 and x86. Instead, we have two compilers : mingw, a user-friendly compiler that supports only x86, and mingw-w64, an incredibly user-unfriendly compiler that supports x64, so what's gone wrong ? :-)

I know it is easy to say that when you're not involved in the dissagreement, but the problem is that probably nobody attempted to merge mingw-w64 back.


KHMan <keinhong@gmail.com> wrote:

On 5/3/2014 6:39 PM, Romain Garbi wrote:
> It is clear that this kind of attitude should not exist. However,
> it is always sad to miss an important features, especially when
> the cause is an issue between developpers, rather than a techinal
> issue.

A long time list member here. MinGW has always required public
documentation for API patches, I've seen many people making such
contributions with no fuss at all, no problem at all.

It is an important legal issue, well worth the extra effort IMHO.
If younger fellas want to be cavalier about their legal position,
then let them take on the increased risk of a lawsuit. If they
choose to interpret copyright law in a way very favourably to
themselves and in a non-US setting, then let them take the risk.

> I think copyright infringment is somewhat a pretext in order not
> to do anything. When I download a software (either free or not), I
> can not be sure that this software is actually not infringing
> anyone's copyright (unless I read the entire source, and I allmost
> never do that, even for works I modify), so for me, it work like a
> giant web of trust. I'm also sceptic about the fact that microsoft
> would like to sink MinGW, because it's one of the most widely used
> compilers for windows...

You'd better learn more about copyright law before writing such

In large corporations, the left hand knows not what the right hand
is doing. Lawyers are not developers, they won't know the
ecosystem benefits MinGW bring to Win32. An attack dog wanting to
stand out in a horde of attack dogs might strike at MinGW as a
career-making move, however bad it may look to the developer
community (lawyers might follow the old adage of "asking for
forgiveness is easier than asking for permission" too.)

One frivolous lawsuit even if it's later dismissed, can easily
ruin many lives.

Remember the timezone database lawsuit? Go read about it. Plenty
more examples of out-of-the-blue lawsuits to choose from...

Do you think it's fun if it happened to you?

So I must agree with the MinGW team on their procedures to
minimize legal risk. I would not want the MinGW project to drop
all the hard work done over the years and going to a cavalier
mode. If the other forks want to take on increased risk, let them
since it's the path they have chosen, but for me I think there
will still be the original MinGW to fall back on.

> [snip snip]

Kein-Hong Man (esq.)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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