Subject: Re: Be and free software
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 23 Nov 1999 12:37:03 -0500

   Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 10:51:59 -0500

   An example showing the former to be problematical is the one just discussed
   where Cygnus does piece-work for a chip company to create for them modified
   GPLed software (eg a port of gcc).  The copyright on the modifications is
   now owned by the chip company, who also has the source-code.  But the
   software is not being distributed and source is nowhere available.  Is that
   software currently free?  It probably will become so, and they are limited
   in what they can do without making it free.  But is it before they release

Actually, in such a case the chip company does not have the copyright.
The copyright remains with Cygnus or, given Cygnus's blanket copyright
assignment on GNU code, with the FSF.  (Perhaps when the code reaches
the FSF, the copyright is automatically transferred or something, not
that it matters.)

Anyhow, I think this code is clearly free (libre).  You have free
(libre) speech even if you never choose to exercise it.