Intel has drawn a controversial license agreement aimed at preventing developers from publishing benchmark results that could reveal performance damages caused by the latest security updates.
As ZDNet reported yesterday, the chip maker was criticized by open source master Bruce Perens to release new restrictions in the software agreement for maintainers of Linux distributions like Debian and Ubuntu.
Changes to license terms came with microcode updates to reduce Specter and Foreshadow or L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF), speculative attacks.
The agreement said, "You do not want and will not allow any third party to … publish or provide any software reference or comparison test results."
The term suggested that some at Intel, perhaps lawyers or marketing representatives, would not really want anyone to publish referral results that opposed their own L1
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When Intel revealed L1TF vulnerability, it said it had observed "no meaningful performance impact" after the milking had been used.
There have been concerns since Intel released its first microcode reduction for Specter that they cause significant performance downsets.
But even if they do, Perens would think developers would undermine trust in Intel's components.
Customers can not rely on your components when you do, "Perens wrote.
Following Peren's complaint that Intel tried to" gag someone who would collect information to report on these penalties, "the company retracted new agreement and replaced it with a "simplified" and less restrictive one posted on Intel's open source projects website.
"We have simplified Intel license to make it easier to distribute CPU microcode updates and published it New Version Here, " wrote Imad Sousou, Executive Vice President and GM at Intel Open Source Technology Center.
" As an active member of the Open Source community, we continue to welcome all feedback and thank the community. "
Perens noted that the new license was" fairly innocent "for proprietary software and that it should solve the problem for Linux distributions.
The new license does not contain any limitations for publishing benchmark results and focuses solely on redistribution, a problem that allegedly caused Debian developers to hold back Intel's patch.
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