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WebSite Information => Article Discussions => Topic started by: Martin Iturbide on September 24, 2018, 06:02:28 pm

Title: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: Martin Iturbide on September 24, 2018, 06:02:28 pm
Hi

I was criticized at my Warpstock intervention because I told that the OS4 kernel was illegal (depending on the copyright laws of the country) since it was based on leaked source code of the IBM's OS/2 Warp 4 kernel.

OS4User told me on IRC that I was wrong and that I should correct that but it didn't not provide me any more feedback about it.

Even that I can found some exception according to the US copyright law for the OS4 kernel to be "legal" for some specific uses, I would like to give the opportunity to the OS4 kernel people to explain me in the last years if there had been any changes on the OS4 project and if it no longer using IBM's leaked source code.

Regards
Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: RickCHodgin on September 24, 2018, 06:34:34 pm
Hi

I was criticized at my Warpstock intervention because I told that the OS4 kernel was illegal (depending on the copyright laws of the country) since it was based on leaked source code of the IBM's OS/2 Warp 4 kernel.

OS4User told me on IRC that I was wrong and that I should correct that but it didn't not provide me any more feedback about it.

Even that I can found some exception according to the US copyright law for the OS4 kernel to be "legal" for some specific uses, I would like to give the opportunity to the OS4 kernel people to explain me in the last years if there had been any changes on the OS4 project and if it no longer using IBM's leaked source code.

Regards

They told me the same thing on IRC chat, but IIRC they never expanded on it, and never answered how it was legal.  I think they said the same thing here, but also never explained how it was legal.

It is here:  https://www.os2world.com/forum/index.php/topic,983.msg13609.html#msg13609 (https://www.os2world.com/forum/index.php/topic,983.msg13609.html#msg13609)
Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: Roderick Klein on September 24, 2018, 09:51:14 pm
Hi

I was criticized at my Warpstock intervention because I told that the OS4 kernel was illegal (depending on the copyright laws of the country) since it was based on leaked source code of the IBM's OS/2 Warp 4 kernel.

OS4User told me on IRC that I was wrong and that I should correct that but it didn't not provide me any more feedback about it.

Even that I can found some exception according to the US copyright law for the OS4 kernel to be "legal" for some specific uses, I would like to give the opportunity to the OS4 kernel people to explain me in the last years if there had been any changes on the OS4 project and if it no longer using IBM's leaked source code.

Regards

From what I have seen over the years the OS/4 kernel started out as updated debug kernel 104a.
First of all the IBM license OS/2 comes with simply does not allow reverse engenering and as far I can tell they have done that. The license of IBM does not allow this. I do not know what Russian copyright law has in terms of provisons to allow you to legally reverse engineer a software product.

Also since Russia ratified the Bern Copyright convention:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention

I do not know if that means that US copyright law applies to the OS/2 product as that was the first country it was made "public". Also what is written in the orginal OS/2 Warp license agreement IBM published in Russia ?
Did it allow you to reverse engineer the kernel ?

Lets just say I would be very surprised if it would...

Roderick
Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: OS4User on September 25, 2018, 04:39:51 pm
...because I told that the OS4 kernel ....  was based on leaked source code of the IBM's OS/2 Warp 4 kernel.

Hi Martin

AFAIK, it was Merlin (4.0) source code which leaked from IBM. But OS/4 is a patch for Aurora (4.5) kernel.  Meanwhile, if you have any prove that OS/4 is based on leaked Merlin, pls, show them to us.

Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: Martin Iturbide on September 25, 2018, 10:25:22 pm
Hi OS4User.

Since OS4 source code is close and it is not available to the public, it can not be compared to the OS/2 Warp 4.0 (Merlin) leaked source code. If that comparison can be finally done it will finally close the discussion and complete remove that issue from your project.

About Roderick claims, I think he is referring "reverse engineering from binaries", I really don't know any reverse engineering method for the OS/2 kernel (if anybody knows that please let me know on public or private). On my limited knowledge on this point I haven't seen anything that can produce something useful for the kernel and drivers.

You say that OS/4 is a patch for Aurora 4.5, which means that the OS4 kernel uses IBM binaries, so to use the OS4 kernel anybody must have a legal OS/2 license. (We had that discussion before). 
But is the source code of the patch complete property of the developers (which I don't know the names)?
Or did they use any of the Merlin's leaked source code to produce that patch?
Can at least the developers confirm that there is no leaked IBM kernel source code on their binary patch, since they project is close source?

Regards
Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: R.M. Klippstein on September 25, 2018, 10:44:00 pm
Martin, You are "Beating a Dead Horse" Who cares? I.B.M. obviously doesn't!

If that comparison can be finally done it will finally close the discussion and complete remove that issue from your project.

You seem to be the only person careing to continue your so called "issue"

klipp
Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: Martin Iturbide on September 26, 2018, 03:13:40 am
klipp, my issue is that I possible said something wrong on my presentation, if so, I want to publicly stand corrected.

Like I think I may discussed on some other forum thread, for me OS4 is legal for educational and research purposes. (according to US copyright law 107 (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107)). But for commercial use it can be a legal risk, as when money start flowing lawyers can get creative suing money off people/companies.

On the other hand, dreaming in technicolor, I really want for OS4 to overcame any binding or use of IBM copyrighted material (or leaked source code if apply) and any legal issues/risk on the US, so it can became a full OS/2 kernel replacement someday. Nobody else is so close to have an OS/2 kernel replacement than the OS4 team, but doing it close source and in shadows is something I personally don't like.

Regards
Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: Dave Yeo on September 26, 2018, 05:03:26 am
The problem is that even if the OS/4 kernel is a clean room implementation of the OS/2 kernel (and I have no idea if it is) is proving it. Especially if a large business such as IBM sues. You could spend years in court arguing with all the lawyer fees that would entail before winning, or more likely giving up.
Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: André Heldoorn on September 26, 2018, 02:50:40 pm
if you have any prove that OS/4 is based on leaked Merlin, pls, show them to us.

Without wanting to demote developments possibly based on "open source": the party which has to prove something heavily depends on the legal system, and IBM may not even be allowed to disassemble e.g. my source code to prove that I've used leaked source code. And copyrights may not be restricted to source code. Surely U2 will have a problem with a commercial "Without or with you"-song which, by luck, almost sounds like an improved version of their copyrighted song "With or without you". If it sounds like a clone, then a judge may decide that it's a clone. Even if it's a honest new song.
Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: RickCHodgin on September 26, 2018, 07:04:49 pm
if you have any prove that OS/4 is based on leaked Merlin, pls, show them to us.

Without wanting to demote developments possibly based on "open source": the party which has to prove something heavily depends on the legal system, and IBM may not even be allowed to disassemble e.g. my source code to prove that I've used leaked source code.

They wouldn't have to.  You can look for patterns of code without regard to physical offsets (something anti-virus software does, for example), and without disassembling it, but simply comparing some known patterns in your code to what you see in the other code.

We could probably do this ourselves, by the way, to scan the existing kernel and find patterns that exist in the OS/4 kernel.  If there are many more than several, it's a good sign it's a direct derivative work.  If someone can post a copy of the true blue OS/2 kernel and the OS/4 kernel somewhere, I would be willing to write an analysis tool which looks for those patterns.  It would be a fun project. :-)

x86 encodes immediate data and memory addresses directly into many of their instructions.  So, we'd have to look for computer instruction patterns and skip those portions because they may not even be the same between separate compiles from the same source code (depending on the variables of compilation).

Quote
And copyrights may not be restricted to source code. Surely U2 will have a problem with a commercial "Without or with you"-song which, by luck, almost sounds like an improved version of their copyrighted song "With or without you". If it sounds like a clone, then a judge may decide that it's a clone. Even if it's a honest new song.

The whole thing about OS/4 right now is ... it's suspicious.  For me, that's enough to avoid it completely and I'm content to leave it at that.  We need an open-source OS/2 kernel anyway.

I also applaud Martin's position on this (wanting to do the right thing, to make sure he speaks rightly on the subject when he's in a teaching position).  It's admirable.
Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: Ian Manners on September 26, 2018, 07:33:00 pm
Hi Rick,

You can start with anything where the descriptions starts with the word "Official" from http://www.os2site.com/sw/upgrades/kernel/index.html (http://www.os2site.com/sw/upgrades/kernel/index.html).

It would be nice to have some closure on this subject which would provide both legal and software future direction.
Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: RickCHodgin on September 26, 2018, 07:46:32 pm
You can start with anything where the descriptions starts with the word "Official" from http://www.os2site.com/sw/upgrades/kernel/index.html (http://www.os2site.com/sw/upgrades/kernel/index.html) any OS/2 based browser will give you access, if you require a username / password drop me a line and I will send one out for you.

Please email me one and I'll investigate it.  Thank you.
Title: Re: OS4 Kernel Discussion
Post by: RickCHodgin on September 28, 2018, 02:57:26 pm
A cursory examination indicates:  they appear to be markedly different kernels.  Whether this is by purposeful obfuscation or due to them being truly different kernel designs with different code bases ... I will know more when I complete additional testing.  It will take a while.  I'll work on it when I can here and there...