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Re: I've got a bad feeling about this...

On Oct 14, Joel Baker wrote:
> Er. Given that 'libc' is under the 4-clause license, if this is true... or
> does that not apply to 'system' libraries? NetBSD certainly has a fair bit
> of GPLed code, including dist/gnu in the source tree.

Hmm.  This could get ugly quickly; my gut feeling is that since NetBSD
uses GPLed code linked against its libc, it's OK by the FSF.  But it
does set a bad precedent with us using the "system libraries"
exemption as a magic wand to get rid of GPL incompatibilities - Debian
hasn't done that in the past.

One thing to bear in mind is that the four-clause license is reduced
to the three-clause license if the code is (C) UCB (they did that by
fiat a few years back).  But IIRC all of the *BSDs had a lot of random
hackers and companies decide they wanted their names mentioned too,
and a lot of them haven't revoked the ad clause from their licenses.

> Still, as long as it's DFSG-free... what are the practical implications
> of using it as a core? Do we have to provide an advertising clause in our
> releases, et al, as NetBSD appears to?
> I can work on trying to untangle the strands of which license applies to
> what part of the NetBSD source tree, but I need to know what I should do
> about the copyright file and whether anyone else needs to be aware...

Well, you definitely need to preserve the copyright file etc; if it's
a massive boilerplate with all the contributors' names, I'd put it in
the kernel package in /usr/share/common-licenses/NetBSD so
debian/copyright in other packages can refer to it.

The bottom line, though, is that -legal is going to have to figure
this out.  You may have to comb every file in the source tree to
figure out what license applies to what :-(.

(Practically Debian/FreeBSD may be in a better position here since
they're using GNU libc, which will avoid some of these issues.  But
they still have to worry about attribution requirements, etc.)

Chris Lawrence <cnlawren@phy.olemiss.edu> - http://www.lordsutch.com/chris/

Computer Systems Manager, Physics and Astronomy, Univ. of Mississippi
125B Lewis Hall - 662-915-5765

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