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Re: final licence question.

On Tue, Nov 12, 2002 at 11:16:20AM -0600, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 12, 2002 at 05:32:00PM +0100, Sven Luther wrote:
> > On Tue, Nov 12, 2002 at 10:27:27AM -0600, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > > On Tue, Nov 12, 2002 at 05:20:39PM +0100, Sven Luther wrote:
> > > > Yes, thought so, since the GPL only applies on redistribution, not on
> > > > something you do in-house.
> > > > But i think it would be fine to have the exemption and the
> > > > redistribution rights of the proprietary .o nonethless.
> > > If the exemption is not needed, it's better to *not* have it, since any
> > > exemption weakens the GPL to some extent.
> > Well, yes, but that means that if i send you a built package because you
> > cannot get hold of the kernel source, since you don't have the driver
> > for the ADSL modem and have to copy stuff by floppy, that the copyright
> > holder can sue me about this ?
> That's correct.


So i better still ask them to do it correctly then. They can ever drop
the exception when a free alternative is there.

> > More seriously though, will a BSD licence be more appropriate here ?
> That depends on the wishes of the copyright holder.  If they don't *mind*
> their code being reused in proprietary linkages, then a BSD license is
> fine.  If they chose the GPL for philosophical reasons, then I would
> think they would want to hold onto the full strength of the GPL here.

Well, they don't really know one way or the other, they choose the GPL
because i told them that to enter the kernel they need to be GPL, once
there is a free ADSL lib replacement available or something. I guess
though that it is their best interest to choose the GPL though.

> > BTW, would it be worth it to aks tasks@fsf.org if they could include a
> > ADSL software emulation in their todo list ?
> I'm not familiar with the list, but I'm guessing this item won't be given

The FSF FAQ that gave me the GPL exception text says it could be good to
ask there for stuff not freely available.

> high priority since the FSF is unlikely to have anyone on staff who's
> sufficiently familiar with ADSL signalling.

As i understand it, apparently only a few persons in the world are
familiar with ADSL signaling, that being one of the reasons STM does not
open source it. It may well be that in a few years (or less) they will
open source it. One more reason not to drop non-free, it is a good place
to put stuff while we lobby upstream for a licence change.

BTW, one last question. If upstream where to put the proprietary part in
userspace, would the kernel driver using the full GPL be ok ? We would
need the same kind of licence for the userspace library though. The
driver would go into contrib then, right ?


Sven Luther

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