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Subject: License of code in utils/MTP/

License of code in utils/MTP/

From: Dave Chapman <>
Date: Fri, 09 Jan 2009 01:27:08 +0000


This has been discussed a few times in IRC over the past couple of days,
but I thought it would be useful to bring it here - especially as the
two people responsible for that code (mcuelenaere and nicolasp) haven't
been involved in those discussions.

For those that may not know, utils/MTP/ contains two versions of a
"sendfirm" utility, which uploads a firmware update file to a device via
MTP. This is how we install a bootloader on the Gigabeat S (and I think
it's used for the Creative ports, but I know nothing about those).

The Linux version is straightforward - it's based on libMTP (LGPL'd),
and sendfile.c is GPL'd (written by mcuelenaere/nicolasp, based on a
libMTP example program).

However, the Windows program seems to be a bit of a minefield.

The main program is sendfirm_win.c, and this was written by mcuelenaere
and has a GPL license header.

However, this code is trivial, and all the hard work is done by an
included dll - MTP_DLL.dll. The source of this is in utils/MTP/MTP_DLL/

This DLL can only be compiled with MSVC, and if I am understanding the
source correctly, comes from two places:

1) - I can't find any (C)
or license information relating to that code.

2) The "mssachlp.lib" file from the "Windows Media Device Manager 10
SDK" from Microsoft.

This makes the licensing of MTP_DLL.dll very unclear, and it seems to me
that the Windows version of sendfirm can't be released under the GPL, as
it currently claims.

My initial concern was the mssachlp.lib library from MS - my
understanding is that linking to such a library is incompatible with the

But the code from is also an issue - without any license,
we can't use it at all...

Any thoughts?


Received on 2009-01-09

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