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Bug#686447: Licence issues and non-issues with ZoL: CDDL and GPL

On Aug 29, 2014, at 4:49 AM, Carlos Alberto Lopez Perez
<clopez@igalia.com> wrote:
> On 27/08/14 14:33, Carlos Alberto Lopez Perez wrote:
>> Maybe we could share a RFC of the summary here when we think is ready, in order to double-check our understanding of the license stuff and get more feedback about it.
> On 27/08/14 16:38, Andreas Dilger wrote:
>> Hi Carlos,
>> I've been dealing with ZoL and the GPL/CDDL issues for a number
>> of years for the Lustre filesystem. IANAL, but know quite a bit about
>> these issues so I'd be happy to help out if I can. 
> Thanks for the offer to help.
> Aron has posted our summary about the situation [1]. If you want to comment on it that would be great.

In general I think this is a very well written summary of the issues.

I think it is a disservice to your argument that you equate CDDL with proprietary binary licenses such as those used for NVidia or Broadcom.

I would definitely seek clarification of what part of the "spirit" of the GPL is being violated.

I think the most important point is that CDDL is an OSI-approved _open_source_ license, which eliminates IMHO the biggest objection to proprietary binary modules, since the source for ZFS is available for debugging, modification, and redistribution.

The CDDL is actually a permissive license and even grants patent  indemnification for any patents embodied in the original ZFS code (similar to GPLv3).  It is the GPL that restricts distributing with CDDL code and not the reverse (CDDL 3.6 explicitly allows this).

A little-known fact is that the CDDL even permits releasing the executable under a different license from the CDDL (CDDL 3.5).  For example, it would be conceivable to distribute the module under the GPL, but that raises the question of what does a GPL license on an executable mean?  Would this expose the distributor to e.g. patent license issues because it is no longer covered by the CDDL?

> Regards.
> [1] http://mid.gmane.org/20140829014229.GA9572@aron-laptop

Cheers, Andreas

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