Re: Tainted Modules Help Notices

From: David Woodhouse (
Date: Wed Oct 10 2001 - 13:18:30 EST said:
> Subject to patent holdings. If you hold a patent on the BSD code you
> can't GPL it

That's not wonderfully clear. They don't have to _restrict_ your rights -
just neglect to grant you the right to use the algorithm in question, which
you didn't have in the first place anyway.

> nor is it GPL compatible.

I believe that statement is as true as the assertion that nobody, even in
the Free World, can write GPL'd code which use the algorithms covered by
the patent.

Either way, I didn't think that a political stance against patents was the
point of the kernel tainting code - I thought it was about maintainability.

> The problem we have is that "BSD without advertisment" can be claimed
> by almost any binary only module whose author doesnt include source or
> let it out fo their company ever

GPL can also be claimed by a module whose author doesn't publish either the
source or the binary, or who charges lots and lots of money for shipping the
binary and ships the source with it with a 'request' that the recipient
doesn't then give it away for free.

But if we're not going to allow BSD-licensed modules to be loaded without
tainting the kernel, we shouldn't mark any of the code distributed with the
kernel as BSD-licensed - we should make it all "Dual BSD/GPL" instead.

It might also be useful to have a 'Dual GPL/Other' option, for covering the
other randomly dual-licensed code (like JFFS2).


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 15 2001 - 21:00:33 EST