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Re: [gNewSense-users] BSD code

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] BSD code
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 21:13:25 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla-Thunderbird (X11/20080110)

Peter and Jesse wrote:
On Sun, 2008-27-04 at 13:50 +0200, Sam Geeraerts wrote:
Peter and Jesse wrote:
On Fri, 2008-25-04 at 20:01 +0200, Sam Geeraerts wrote:
Peter and Jesse wrote:
The copyright notice says "The Regents of the University of California" (plural) so there might be more than one person you can contact?

If we could find who put the update-statement in there we could ask that person. The best thing I could find was, which shows that the update was introduced in 2.4.0. Does anybody know of an easy web front end to the kernel revision logs so that we can find the author of the change?
Ooh, you're right. I contacted Paul Mackerras (paulus), but looking at
the old kernels, his time-stamped name is there before the license was
changed. Regarding the Regents of the University of California, they
would have been the copyright holders in the original license, so I
wouldn't think they would have anything to do with the problematic
introduction. However, if folks want, I can try to get a hold of the
appropriate people at the U of C.

The bugs are about the code having no license. The initial license was original BSD. That license was changed to modified BSD automatically for all code belonging to Berkeley. If the code hasn't changed significantly so that there are no other copyright holders then these files were also subject to that change. Else, the other copyright holders had to also agree on that, I think, which they probably did.

Assuming that the update statement is supposed to clarify this and that the person who put it in had all the information, it would be good to contact him to ask about the meaning of it and possibly change it. If that person can't be found then kernel-devel is probably the next best thing. If you can't get an answer from them, then we'll just have to assume modified BSD and leave it at that.

Sam, Would you be willing to contact kernel-devel? You seem to have a
better idea of the issues at hand than I do. If so, another thing you
might want to mention is that both of the files have
MODULE_LICENSE("Dual BSD/GPL") in them. I'm not sure how that fits in.

Ah, I didn't know that macro was in there. I was also considering that the words "copyright" and "license" are somewhat interchangeable (but I don't know for sure because English is not my mother tongue). All in all, I think we're left with a pretty weak case just to make some minor changes to a comment and we're probably making too much of a fuss about it. All the evidence points to the license being modified BSD which is all that matters to gNewSense.

If you still want me to contact kernel-devel, I will. But I'm willing to let the issue go and just accept the code.

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