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Gentoo/FreeBSD On Hold Due To Licensing Issues

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the the-hangover-of-license-versions dept.

The Courts 200

Alan Trick writes "Flameeyes (a Gentoo/FreeBSD developer) recently came up with some serious problems among the various *BSD projects who use BSD-4 licensed code (which is all of them). Even other projects like Open Darwin may be affected.

The saga started when he discovered the license problems with libkvm and start-stop-daemon. "libkvm is a userspace interface to FreeBSD kernel, and it's licensed under the original BSD license, BSD-4 if you want, the one with the nasty advertising clause." start-stop-daemon links to libkvm, but it's licensed under the GPL which is incompatible with the advertising clause. The good new is that the University of California/Berkley has given people permission to drop the advertising clause. The bad news is that libkvm has code from many other sources and each of them needs to give their permission for the license to be changed.

At the moment, development on the Gentoo/FreeBSD is on hold and the downloads have been removed from the Gentoo mirrors."

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hmmm (4, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508638)

At the moment, development on the Gentoo/FreeBSD is on hold and the downloads have been removed from the Gentoo mirrors.

It's almost as if... BSD were dying, or something.

Re:hmmm (2, Funny)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508666)

Fucking hippies.

Re:hmmm (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17510104)

I swear the mods have no sense of humor today.
I mean, fine, you don't think it's funny. Whatever. But wasting mod points sending it down?
Go get laid, faggots.

Re:hmmm (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509010)

Who the heck modded that as flamebait? Tired old in-joke, yes, but hardly flamebait. Sheesh.

Re:hmmm (4, Informative)

First Person (51018) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509436)

For those who need the (admittedly weak) joke explained, try this [everything2.com] .

Re:hmmm (1, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510926)

Who the heck modded that as flamebait? Tired old in-joke, yes, but hardly flamebait. Sheesh.


The pool of moderators consistently has a large number of BSD and Mac OS X users, all of whom reflexively mod down any post containing both the words 'BSD' and 'dying'.

Which brings me to my next conclusion: the Slashdot moderators are DYING! Netcraft confirms it! Since the moderators run BSD and, clearly, BSD is dying, therefore, the moderators are dying, too!

*ducking*

Well... (5, Interesting)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508692)

This is better than getting the lawyers involved. What a great case of the community policing itself and making sure it is following its own rules. It may take a while, but I think this issue will be resolved and the project(s) will move forward.

Trouble in paradise (-1, Flamebait)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508716)

It's nice to see geeks tripping over each other's fantasy rules for releasing code. Open source fighting open source over trivialities is a beautiful thing.

And people probably wonder why commercial software still owns the world's computers.

Re:Trouble in paradise (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508768)

Similar rules exist in the commercial world as well, y'know. Only it's a lot harder to spot breaches of them when all you have available is pre-compiled code.

Re:Trouble in paradise (-1, Flamebait)

computersareevil (244846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508790)

You are an idiot. The network over which all that commercial software communicates (and over which you posted your troll) is run by Free software.

Re:Trouble in paradise (5, Insightful)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509328)

Much of it is free. Much of it is not free. All generalizations are false. :-)

Re:Trouble in paradise (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509390)

Though I may not have put it that way, in many ways you are correct. And licenseing should be considered trivial (ie:nonexistant) The factional infighting is exposing OSS's similarities to the commercial world more than its differences (Watch the movie "Network" (1976) and note how the radicals negociate the renewal of their show). And most of the time will spent on licensing issues instead of actual developement. I've already downloaded some programs that consume less space than the license. There is only one suitable "license". That's public domain. Make it open to anybody for anything. Let the commercial companies have it. Who cares if they make money from it? They don't have any exclusivity over it. They still can't stop you from using it. As far as I'm concerned, use of public domain material in a program puts that program into the public domain also. *sigh* I guess the lawyers have found another pot of gold at the end of the OSS rainbow now. If there's anything that will prevent its widespread use, this would be it.

Re:Trouble in paradise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17509744)

If there's anything that will prevent its widespread use, this would be it.

If the makers of Autocad and Photoshop had "widespread use" as their top priority, they'd also put their programs in the public domain rather than charging hundreds of dollars per copy.

Likewise, many of the people who license their programs under the GPL have other priorities higher than "widespread use". That may be annoying to those of us who didn't write the programs, but it's not our place to decide any more than it's our place to dictate the pricing on other peoples' commercial software.

Re:Trouble in paradise (2, Informative)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509784)

As far as I'm concerned, use of public domain material in a program puts that program into the public domain also.

The lawyers would disagree. This is why we have copyleft in the form of the GNU GPL.

BSD *is* commercial software! (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509678)

people probably wonder why commercial software still owns the world's computers


In case you haven't noticed, the current Apple OS is BSD. "Commercial" isn't the opposite of "open source". The opposite of open source is closed source, and the opposite of commercial is non-commercial. You can have "commercial open source" software and you can have "non-commercial closed source" software.

Good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17508734)

Really, what is the point of Gentoo/FreeBSD anyway?

I cannot think of a single reason why this would be a good thing. Mixing BSD and GPL licensed code is just asking for trouble. Is a blend of these two systems really going to be better than the sum of its parts?

Somehow I think this whole idea is doomed to fail.

Re:Good (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17508798)

It's one big wanking sessions for Gentoy fanboys who want to feel extra 'leet by using BSD.

The "most utterly fucking pointless" award must go to GNU/kFreeBSD though. The FreeBSD kernel with a GNU userland, all the upto and including a port of Glibc for the FreeBSD kernel. Even more pointless than The HURD and all of about one user, who happens to be the developer of this wonderous creation.

The pointlessness. It burns!

Re:Good (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509090)

I disagree that the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port is a waste of time. Linux is not the official kernel of the GNU project and, while I doubt anyone will actually use the FreeBSD kernel port, it is useful to improve the portability of the GNU system.

More interesting is the Nexenta project, which is porting Ubuntu to OpenSolaris (and has usable releases out already).

That's awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17509238)

Hopefully it will be stable soon. It's be great to have a GNU system with a kernel that has a stable ABI. That actually has a chance of getting drivers written for it.

Re:That's awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17509656)

Sweet, so what kernel would that be? Because the one with the most drivers that I know of is Linux, which doesn't have a driver ABI set in stone and supports far more hardware than FreeBSD (and Windows, out of the box).

Re:That's awesome (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17509714)

Don't upset the OpenSolaris fanboys, they might set Jörg Schilling on you.

Re:Good (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510008)

not to mention it's the worst of both worlds...

I've used several versions of Linux as well as FreeBSD...

In my experience, although it requires a lot of typing and less GUI, FreeBSD has been, by far, the easiest to administrate.

Linux has had much better driver support however.

So... It's a system with the base (and hence driver support) of BSD, and the administrative tools of Linux?

That just sounds painful and unnecessary.

Re:Good (-1, Flamebait)

dpninerSLASH (969464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510264)

That just sounds painful and unnecessary.

And why should anyone involved care a bit about your opinion? Obviously, those involved with the project find it useful, or they wouldn't be donating their time so others could benefit.

Welcome to the spirit of Open Source, asshole.

DP

Re:Good (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510542)

Believe it or not, I understand what you are saying and where you are coming from. I understood it before you said it. Now try to understand the other side of the coin. Because I did *NOT* state anything worth such a respons. I may have been a bit emphatic in my wondering about the purpose of such a project, but I did not say that it should be abandoned.

My biggest problem with so much of open source is that there are a large number of "half-done" quality projects, and so few "fully done" quality projects. I do think that the effort spent on this project could instead be spent on improving the shortcomings of one system or the other, rather than combining the shorcomings into one system.

I'm sure they have a logic for what they are doing, but I just don't see it.

Re:Good (1)

menkhaura (103150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510440)

Exactly my thought. There should be a system with the Linux kernel and the FreeBSD userland (ports mainly, but rc.conf and init scripts would be nice as well). I've heard that pkgsrc [pkgsrc.org] is a ports look-alike, designed to be portable across many operating systems, including Linux, but I haven't seen any Linux distro using it. The closest seems to be ArchLinux (which uses BSD-style init), but they have their own, incompatible, package management tools.

Gentoo's portage would be nice if it weren't so damn slow...

Useful tools (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510852)

One example given was start-stop-daemon, which is just a useful little tool for init scripts. Would be absolutely mindlessly easy to replicate, but would still be annoying as hell if there were licensing issues -- practically every Gentoo init script (even on Linux) uses it.

as an end-user only... (-1, Flamebait)

unfunk (804468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508738)

...I couldn't give two shits what it's licensed under, or if the licenses are incompatible or whatever it is. It doesn't affect how the software works, does it? Why should I (the consumer) suffer because somebody wants the moral highground in a piffling little matter?

Anybody want to explain to me why I (as a user only) should care?

Re:as an end-user only... (4, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508804)

Basically, because if you don't give two shits about what the license says, you're better off warezing a copy of Vista and being done with the whole nonsense. It's obeying the license restrictions that makes what you're doing legal.

Re:as an end-user only... (1)

unfunk (804468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508916)

The difference being that Linux and *BSD are, you know, good? The same sort of questions arise with the Firefox/IceWeasel issue over at Debian, so are you suggesting I just warez IE7 and run it on my Ubuntu box simply because I don't see what their issue is?

Re:as an end-user only... (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509118)

are you suggesting I just warez IE7 and run it on my Ubuntu box simply because I don't see what their issue is?
The issue is that the distribution is only able to distribute the code if they follow the licensing conditions. The issue doesn't affect you as an end user except in one way; if they can't legally distribute the code to you, how do you expect to get it and run it?

Re:as an end-user only... (5, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508850)

Anybody want to explain to me why I (as a user only) should care?

Um, because if stuff like this doesn't get ironed out, then projects like this never get going, and you (the consumer) don't get the product/service. If you don't care about whether it's there as an option, then, right... you shouldn't care.

Caring about it, philosophically/academically isn't the same as having the wherewithal to be a nuts-and-bolts part of resolving the problem. But if you pretend that this stuff doesn't in any way matter, then you're betraying a pretty simplistic understanding of how "free" stuff comes to exist in the first place. No question that many arguments in the F/OSS universe are of the "how many angels can dance on the head of pin" variety. But whether something is, or isn't within the bounds of the licensing model under which much of this entire area is built - well, that actually does matter. One is reminded, sometimes, though, about the old saying about why intra-staff disputes at colleges are so wicked: the drama is so big because the stakes are so small.

Re:as an end-user only... (1)

unfunk (804468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509028)

Well, thankyou for at least answering my question without assuming I'm trying to flame FOSS or promote warezing or what-have-you.
I guess I have a lot of respect for dictatorial attitudes toward things; if something needs doing, then it should be done. No ifs, buts, or maybes, Dictators get things done.





Yes, I know, they also kill lots of people in the process, but let's just ignore that for now, shall we?

Re:as an end-user only... (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510102)

And be done, something undoubtedly is. My guess is that if nobody can find a nice solution to this soon someone will just declare the module in question to be in need of a rewrite and they'll code it from scratch with a friendlier license. Rewrites of existing code are often much faster and more stable anyways so it's not like it'd be a total loss.

"Flaimbait"? touchy, touchy... (0, Flamebait)

unfunk (804468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509096)

Hey, I'm not trying to troll here - I asked a serious question, and I'd like a serious answer, without being accused of trying to incite a flamewar.

Re:"Flaimbait"? touchy, touchy... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17509212)

Fag.

Re:as an end-user only... (4, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509256)

What "moral highground"? When you use other people's software, you are expected to comply with the license it's released under. With a lot of redistribution and integration of products with different licenses it can get a bit tricky sometimes.

If you are only a user you would obviously care only if you are a user of that particular product, and licensing issues would prevent you from using it. Seems pretty obvious.

Although mostly this is of interest to developers who might run into similar issues themselves.

Re:as an end-user only... (0)

unfunk (804468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509624)

Well, the way I see it is this: if I can stick it all together for myself without anybody caring too much, then what's the problem with somebody else doing it for me? ...and lots of other people as well?

I guess what it all boils down to is I just really can't see the point of the billion-and-one different FOSS licenses out there. Even more so when you consider that you can seemingly change from one to another on a whim, or even distribute the same thing under different licenses for different platforms. As other posts have revealed in this discussion you can even (seemingly, I only skim-read it) arbitrarily change the conditions of somebody else's licensing terms... why bother?

How about just a mass free-for-all with these conditions:
1) All FOS produce is to remain credited to its author/s
2) All FOS produce is to remain FOS
3) All FOS produce shall be able to be intermingled with other FOS and non-FOS produce without legal issue.

Ahhh yeah, software communism FTW!

Re:as an end-user only... (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510622)

Well, the way I see it is this: if I can stick it all together for myself without anybody caring too much, then what's the problem with somebody else doing it for me? ...and lots of other people as well?

Well, that's the difference between end-use and redistribution, I think you'll find this distinction is made in many circumstances, not just with software.

I guess what it all boils down to is I just really can't see the point of the billion-and-one different FOSS licenses out there. Even more so when you consider that you can seemingly change from one to another on a whim, or even distribute the same thing under different licenses for different platforms.

Keeping software Free after you distribute it is a difficult problem, as with most difficult problems several different (and non-optimal) solutions exist. And while there might be a huge number of F/OS licenses, less than half a dozen are widely used - it's not all that difficult to keep track of their differences.

Of course you can change the license your release under (why wouldn't you be able to?), but the previous versions already released keep their original license. Oh, and you can release products under different licenses even on the same platform, but the users are still required to fully comply with whichever one they are using.

As other posts have revealed in this discussion you can even (seemingly, I only skim-read it) arbitrarily change the conditions of somebody else's licensing terms...

That's simply not the case, I'm pretty sure they are talking about a specific provision of that license.

How about just a mass free-for-all with these conditions:
1) All FOS produce is to remain credited to its author/s
2) All FOS produce is to remain FOS
3) All FOS produce shall be able to be intermingled with other FOS and non-FOS produce without legal issue.


Well, (1) is the (fairly non-standard) clause in BSD4 that's causing the issue in this case. Many developers feels that places undue burden on large projects with many contributors (and prevents future license changes). (2) what is FOS? People have very different definitions, hence the proliferation of licenses. (3) easier said than done, and certainly conflicts with (2) more often than not.

Re:as an end-user only... (4, Insightful)

alteran (70039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509330)

Here's a link explaining the problem.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html [gnu.org]

I'll explain how this might affect a user like you, because at first it doesn't seem like much of a restriction: just mention UC Berkley in any advertisements featuring BSD.

What could be simpler!

And then seventy five other shmoes copied the provision.

So now my voluteer website saying, "I'll help anyone, anywhere install BSD for free!!!!" needs to say:

"I'll help anyone, anywhere install BSD* for free!!!!

This product includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.
This product includes software developed by the alteran, who considers himself extremely l33t.
This product includes software developed by the University of Utah and its contributors.
This product includes software developed by Inman Software Corp, and its employees, to be used freely as long as this statement is attached. Inman Software Corp acknowledges the work of many of its contractors, who may have also contributed code to this product.
This product includes software developed by the Grossman Progammers and Associates. Use of this software is fully authorized for all purposes as long as this statement is enclosed.
This product includes software developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its contributors.
This product includes software developed by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and its contributors.
This product includes software developed by the University of North Carolina at Tweetsie and its contributors.
etc., etc.

You get the idea, but pretend I make this list TEN TIMES longer.

Of course, when you got your copy of this software, you saw something like what I showed you above, right? Because if you didn't, well, you're running your software illegally. If you didn't, please erase it. (See, that's an effect right there!)

And that's just the beginning. Anyone advertising/distributing BSD needs to READ EVERY DAGGUM LICENSE and figure out which shmoes need to be credited on every scrap of paper or HTML mentioning BSD. Or just be illegal-- their choice. And because there are so many contributors, any one of which could insert a new program and provision at any time, which means every update needs to be rechecked.

No one is going to do this. They are just going to give up, or ignore the law-- both of which ultimately hurt free software.

And, of course, its users.

Re:as an end-user only... (0, Troll)

Asmodai (13932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510046)

You get the idea, but pretend I make this list TEN TIMES longer.

And it would still be way shorter than the entire text of the GPL.

Re:as an end-user only... (3, Insightful)

sholden (12227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510148)

But the entire text of the GPL doesn't have to appear on every piece of advertising for the product, so that's completely irrelevant.

Programming for your ego or for the users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17510326)

If people program for their own ego advantage, they demand (forced) recognition.
If they program for the user and the community, they easily drop such mandatory clauses.

Re:as an end-user only... (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510092)

directly:
it doesn't affect you, at all

indirectly:
Technically, they are supposed to follow the license of software that they use. Now, if someone wanted to be a jerk and say "You aren't following the license for my software!" it could cause trouble. This could seriously kill development and apps. By working it out before hand, it makes sure your software has a longer and happier development lifespan.

I wouldn't be surprised... (1)

MatrixCubed (583402) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508810)

I wouldn't be surprised if other distributions took this opportunity to take some of the spotlight during Gentoo's/FreeBSD's downtime...

Re:I wouldn't be surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17510408)

I can assure you that the "other" BSD distros don't really care one way or the other regarding the existence of Gentoo/FreeBSD.

whoa, (1)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508816)

Wow, this is more common then you think, i have a feeling this will be resolved very soon

But wait a minute... (5, Interesting)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508836)

But wait--wasn't the decision to link to libkvm made by the authors of the start-stop-daemon? And aren't they the same ones who decided to release it under the GPL? It would seem to me that people are looking at things the wrong way 'round. Instead of getting wavers for libkvm they should be looking at the start-stop-daemon which has either effectively been dual licensed or has been misused by whoever decided to use libkvm (idf it wasn't the original author(s)).

--MarkusQ

Re:But wait a minute... (2, Informative)

The_Paya (1048300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509674)

Actually, start-stop-daemon is Public Domain, the problem lies on the 4-Clause BSD license of the whole thing, RTFA and you'll see that there are about a hundred different "mentions" to make regarding advertisement, creating a whole mess for *any* derivative work of FreeBSD, and, perhaps, even for FreeBSD itself.

More information at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_Licenses [wikipedia.org]
And at: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html [gnu.org]

Re:But wait a minute... (1)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510488)

the problem lies on the 4-Clause BSD license of the whole thing

No. The problem lies in the fact that law is difficult, and software developers are not lawyers. Which is why big software houses have their own departments taking care of such issues. Whenever you choose or write a license for your software (instead of just giving it away to the public domain), you are limiting some people from using it and allowing some other people to use it. This may not be exactly the same people as you intended, unless your license is perfect (which nothing is).

Re:But wait a minute... (4, Informative)

drmerope (771119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509940)

Just so. The anti-4 clause movement began with the FSF. Let me stake out the position that they are not entirely objective on this point. The imfamous clause 3 problem was and has always been a canard.

What's amazing is that people cite to the FSF propoganda and conclude they've prove their point.

Well here is the truth of the matter: Clause 3 relates particularly to advertising that discusses the features implemented by the code given in clause 3. What this means is you want to brag about softupdates and softupdates were covered by this imfamous third clause, you would have to say 'as implemented by Kirk...'

Anyways, this only applies to advertising with sufficient specificity to implicate particular code. Basically if you can trace a feature to 100s of contributors the clause is self-invalidating. No one contribution was responsible for the feature discussed in the advertising, therefore no mention is required.

The whole topic has been FUD for twenty years. That said, it has been such good FUD that people have actually taken extensive effort to purge the clause from the standard license. Only a few small files retain it today.

I think DragonflyBSD which is forked from FreeBSD 4.x is 4-clause free.

Re:But wait a minute... (2, Informative)

arkanes (521690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510280)

It's not FUD - you seem to be claiming that it's a minor requirement and no big deal, which (as far as I know) nobody at the FSF has ever disputed. Not a big deal doesn't mean it's GPL compatible, though.

But the GPL specifies *no* additional restrictions, advertising clause is an additional restriction, end of story. That's all there is to it - 4 clause BSD license is not GPL compatible.

The PyDev extensions for Eclipse are distributed under a free license that includes the requirement that you take a deep breath and relax. That's a GPL-incompatible clause. Legal nitpicking is how you keep your house clean.

Re:But wait a minute... (0, Flamebait)

drmerope (771119) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510784)

And that is why the GPL is a gunpoint license. The irony here of course is that the fault clearly belongs to the authors of the start-stop daemon who failed to apprehend the meaning of the GPL license.

wow, great "free" software (0, Redundant)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508876)

Can't we all just get along?

Re:wow, great "free" software (5, Insightful)

bmac83 (869058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509060)

Sure, it would be great if all these licenses were innately compatible. However, since they're not, it would be a disservice to the entire free software community if we were to start ignoring the provisions of each license in a spirit of universal brotherhood. As much as we all worry about challenges to the GPL, etc., in courts by open source opponents, we should not dilute open source licenses' credibility within the free software community. How seriously could the legality of these licenses be considered then?

I think it's great that a developer took the time to notice a problem and begin the due diligence required to come to a legal, mutually-acceptable conclusion. That's the mark of a true community.

Re:wow, great "free" software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17509886)

More like a troll not redundant

Someone didn't read his next email... (5, Informative)

Zaurus (674150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508880)

Um, hello? Whoever submitted this basically took the original email that Flameeyes sent, but ignored the next one that came a few minutes later:

On Sunday 07 January 2007 02:47, Diego 'Flameeyes' Pettenò wrote:
> This is a very sad blog by my side, although I hope this can be cleared up
> soon so that I don't have to be this sad anymore in the future.
Edit: Timothy (drizzt) found us the escape route. Applying
ftp://ftp.cs.berkeley.edu/pub/4bsd/READM E.Impt.License.Change we can legally
drop the clause 3 of 4-clause BSD license, and be done with it. I'm writing
in this moment the code to do this, but it might require a new stage to come
out. Anyway, the problem is solved, and I think I'll mail FSF for them to
actually put that note somewhere, as it doesn't seem to be that documented
around here.

This *should* cover our asses about the problem, although I'm still looking if
there are sources that are redistributed under 4-clause BSD license, and for
which the license change is not effective (i.e.: they are not under UCB
copyright).

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17509046)

I am desperate to get Gentoo all going again... this halt sucks.

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (4, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509056)

Unless this software came straight from UC Berkley, that escape route doesn't seem to exist. Their Office of Technology Licensing cannot unilaterally change the license on other people's code.

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (2, Funny)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509354)

Shhh, don't let SCO hear about this as they'll probably assert some claim to the code just to have it disproven in 3 to 5 years.

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510902)

The clause in question:

3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software
          must display the following acknowledgement:
          This product includes software developed by the University of
          California, Berkeley and its contributors.


So it's ironic that UCB cannot waive this requirement on the behalf of contributors.

This clause is against the spirit of the BSD license in any case. The reason to adopt BSD is to give the immediate downstream recipients of the code licensed this way the maximum freedom, including the creation of proprietary software. GPL could be seen more as enforcing parity: you must give the same rights you received with respect to the software.

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17509088)

It seems to summarize both mails reasonably well to me: GPL and old-style BSD are incompatible; UCB have a blanket relicence option to new-style BSD; where other folks have contributed under the old-style BSD, they need to give permission to relicence also. What's the problem?

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509148)

The guy's site is flattened and Coral Caching doesn't seem to have happened yet so I can't check this, but... I had the same thought as you and then saw a note at the bottom or a comment or something that indicated that this "drizzt" strategem is only a partial solution.

At any rate, after fighting with yet another Portage update disaster and finding that the Gentoo documentation now recommends recompiling your entire system after updating GCC, I'm thinking this license issue is far from Gentoo's biggest problem.

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (1)

solafide (845228) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509338)

Um, how do you expect to take advantage of a new gcc without recompiling your system with it? Besides which, a recompile every month or so is good for your system.

Portage update disasters only occur when you don't check what emerge --update world will actually install before you do it, or you're running ~arch and a new expat comes out.

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (2, Informative)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509710)

You're fucking kidding me, right?

I'm still using the same OS I did five years ago.. but I've upgraded through SEVERAL versions of gcc...

> Besides which, a recompile every month or so is good for your system.

What, is that the Gentoo equivalent of rebooting a Windows box? *!@*!*@!!

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510750)

I run Gentoo ~arch and since February I've done two complete recompiles, neither introduced any _serious_ problems and both were done overnight and mostly done by morning. One was the move from GCC 3.4.6 to GCC 4.1.1

You don't *HAVE* to recompile everything unless there has been C++ ABI breakage between the versions, but it doesn't hurt too bad and a lot of Gentoo users do it to benefit from any new optimizations introduced.

That said, I have a version of Real Player installed (which I don't use but mplayer needs for the libraries) that was apparently compiled with GCC 3.2 and a (32bit x86) version of Firefox installed that was compiled with GCC 3.4.

Gentoo doesn't force you to do anything.

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (1)

Khazunga (176423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17511002)

I'm still using the same OS I did five years ago.. but I've upgraded through SEVERAL versions of gcc...
If you passed the GCC2->GCC3 barrier, you either reinstalled every packaged or recompiled every library. You can't link binaries compiled with v3 against libraries compiled with v2.

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510072)

I don't use Gentoo's package system, but at this point I think it would take me more than a month to recompile every application I have installed. Admittedly that includes some porkers like Openoffice (which takes 10GB of hard drive space and literally all day to compile).

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (1)

Mr. McGibby (41471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510472)

I was confused by the whole recompile your system thing, but I did it anyway. Apparently this has something to do with the ABI. The explanation made sense to me. However, if you have some counter-explanation, I would appreciate seeing it.

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (1)

Khazunga (176423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510924)

Gentoo documentation now recommends recompiling your entire system after updating GCC

Whenever GCC changes the ABI, you will eventually have to recompile everything. It's not that much of a hassle, if you are not on the ~arch bleeding edge. Just leave the computer doing the compile overnight.

Other distros escape the problem by issuing a new release. Ever changed from SuSE 8 to 9? There was the GCC change.

Having said that, I don't believe GCC changed ABI recently. Or are you just moving to GCC 3?

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509200)

I take it you didn't read the second link, or the summary. This covers code written by UCB, and is widely known about. All UCB-original code released under the 4-clause license can be used under the 3-clause license. However, FreeBSD does not use the original 4BSD libkvm; a number of people have submitted patches to it over the years. Because FreeBSD does not require copyright assignment, these changes are still owned by their authors, and some of them are under the 4-clause license.

This means that parts of the library are 3-clause licensed, and parts 4-clause licensed.

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (1)

msuzio (3104) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509670)

I think this might show the real problem -- copyright assignment. It appears the FSF requires copyright assignment:

http://www.gnu.org/prep/maintain/maintain.html#Leg al-Matters [gnu.org]

(I thought that was the case, but maybe I misinterpreted that statement)

Is this generally the case? Having never contributed back directly to a project (my contributions have all been along the lines of "look, this is wrong, here is a test case to show what might need fixing"), I realize I have no idea what the norm is. It certainly does seem that requiring copyright assignment makes sense for the long term -- otherwise, your project is effectively at the mercy of any and all developers who contribute. I know some people have seen that as a strength in the past (pointing out, for example, that Linus could never hijack the Linux kernel -- he hasn't "owned" the rights to it for a long time now), but it seems a glaring weakness in this case.

Re:Someone didn't read his next email... (1)

arkanes (521690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510172)

The FSF requires copyright assignment for all GNU projects (since the FSF are the owners and maintainers of the GNU project). Copyright assignment is relatively rare in the open source world, because it requires extensive and expensive legal infrastructure, not least of which is the organizational body that will actually hold the copy rights. It's also a pain for submitters, who need to send notarized copyright assignment documents. It's the best way to keep your house legally clean, but it requires a great deal of trust and willingness from your contributors. The Linux kernel as a notable OSS project does not require copyright assignments. Nominally OSS projects that are run (and sometimes dual-licensed) by a corporation often require copyright assignments, MySQL is an example.

Article text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17508960)

Gentoo/FreeBSD: license problems require a development pause

Edit: Timothy (drizzt) found us the escape route. Applying ftp://ftp.cs.berkeley.edu/pub/4bsd/README.Impt.Lic ense.Change [berkeley.edu] we can legally drop the clause 3 of 4-clause BSD license, and be done with it. I'm writing in this moment the code to do this, but it might require a new stage to come out. Anyway, the problem is solved, and I think I'll mail FSF for them to actually put that note somewhere, as it doesn't seem to be that documented around here.

This is a very sad blog by my side, although I hope this can be cleared up soon so that I don't have to be this sad anymore in the future.

Basically, the public Gentoo/FreeBSD development is officially halted starting tonight, as there are some license issues between libkvm and start-stop-daemon .

libkvm is a userspace interface to FreeBSD kernel, and it's licensed under the original BSD license, BSD-4 if you want, the one with the nasty advertising clause . For this reason, until I can clear this problem up, the stages are pulled off from the mirrors, and won't be put there in the mean time.

s-s-d is not the only GPL-released package that links to libkvm actually, GDB does it, too, but I think that on the GPL part, we're fine with the license, as it's a library that comes with the operating system, the problem is that we don't abide to the advertising clause (and we'll probably never be able to do so) and thus I don't think we're allowed to redistribute binaries.

I've mailed David O'Brien, who maintains the devel/gdb6 port for FreeBSD, hoping that he knows more than me about these interactions, in the mean time, I consider the public development of Gentoo/FreeBSD halted. This does not mean that I won't continue working on it, but we cannot currently redistribute it.

Bear with us until we can find a solution. If we cannot link libkvm, I'm ready to try cleanrooming it into a MIT-licensed library.

A shadow lies upon all BSD distributions

Posted by Diego "Flameeyes" Pettenò 15 hours ago

Or so it seems. I've written yesterday about the troubles that forced me to get the Gentoo/FreeBSD stages out of the mirrors, to feel safer and to avoid issues to the Gentoo Foundation that would get bit if there was a problem; today I was invited to join #gnu by mattl on Freenode (who was in turn invited to join #gentoo-dev by christel), and there I talked with ams (Alfred M. Szmidt), who agreed with me that the clause is way too vague (what would be considered "advertising material"? a poster? a booth at an expo? a website? a document explaining the installation procedure? an article on a magazine?), and to be safe we'd have either to get the permission from all the entities involved there, or list all the acknowledgements for all the entities (at least 110 if I have to depend on the quick'n'dirty grep I posted yesterday, but probably a lot more after seeing the files directly, see later on in this post). Both strategies are difficult to apply on both short and long terms.

But this is not just a problem for us, as the title of this post already made you suspect. All of the *BSD-derived projects took some way or another code licensed 4-BSD that is not under copyright of UCB, that would then require them to provide the acknowledgements on all the "advertising material", whatever that is. And I'm pretty sure most of the *BSD projects have something that can be considered advertisement even to the stricter of the meaning.

So even if the situation is nasty, and not easy to cope with, and not even quick to deal with, we have one advantage: the same situation is true for other projects, and thus it's well possible that we'll be able to find all the 4-BSD licensers and get them to change to 3-BSD, or replace the code with cleanroom implementations that would be licensed under a saner license.

Javer is taking care to contacting FreeBSD Foundation, while Timothy took care of NetBSD, I'll probably try to find a way to contact at least some of the copyright holders, but to do that I have to be able to reduce the copyright headers into a human readable form without all the boilerplate noise around it. To do that, I've written a short stateful parser in Ruby that produced me already an interesting log: a lot of files that resulted from the grep assigned to NetBSD project, are actually assigned to various companies or developers that then assigned it to NetBSD project, which makes the situation even more troublesome.

I suppose now people can actually say that my work destroyed the very foundation FreeBSD is based off :/

Edit: It seems like *BSD projects are not the only ones that are involved in this debacle, as also Open Darwin includes at least some header files that are licensed under 4-BSD, see for instance libc_private.h ; I'll have to check if the include directory of Mac OS X also contains 4-BSD licensed code, because I don't remember seeing the acknowledgements on any Apple advertisement.

Why did I have to discover this hornets' nest myself? :

The big license mess, part 2

Posted by Diego "Flameeyes" Pettenò about one day ago

So seems like part 1 was not enough, even after drizzt's good news. I'm now trying to get a hold of trustees to let them contact our pro-bono lawyers so that we can clear this up before continuing Gentoo/FreeBSD project.

What the problem is, if UCB (University of California/Berkley) allowed distributors to drop the third clause, de facto converting the BSD-4 licensed code to BSD-3? Well, UCB is not the only copyright holder of some BSD-4 licensed software, as it comes out, so we're not safe to just drop all of the BSD-4 clauses from the source code, which means I still have to clear up if as a mere aggregation we classify as not needing to abide to the clause or otherwise.

A fuzzy grep over (part) of the source code for FreeBSD 6.2_rc2, provided that we'd have to clear the 3rd clause with quite a few people:

flame@enterprise ~/devel/hacking/gentoo-freebsd/fbsd-6.2rc2 % \
    fgrep "This product includes software developed by " . -r 2>/dev/null | \
    fgrep -v "by the University of" | \
    sed -e 's%.*This product includes software developed by %%' -e 's:\.\? *$::' | \
    sort | uniq -c | sort -b -n -r
        280 the NetBSD
        207 John Birrell
        206 Bill Paul
          81 Boris Popov
          55 Christopher G. Demetriou
          52 TooLs GmbH
          51 Jochen Pohl for
          45 Winning Strategies, Inc
          35 Daniel Eischen
          25 Mark Brinicombe
          22 Brini
          19 Hidetoshi Shimokawa
          17 the
          16 Christos Zoulas
          15 Scott Bartram
          14 K. Kobayashi and H. Shimokawa
          13 Sean Eric Fagan
          13 Joerg Wunsch
          11 Paul Kranenburg
          11 Marc Espie for the OpenBSD
          11 Manuel Bouyer
          11 Jason L. Wright
          11 Charles D. Cranor and
          10 Amancio Hasty and
            9 Marc Horowitz
            8 Martin Husemann
            8 Causality Limited
            7 Terrence R. Lambert
            7 Rajesh Vaidheeswarran
            7 Jason R. Thorpe
            7 Hellmuth Michaelis,
            7 HD Associates, Inc
            7 Gardner Buchanan
            6 Herb Peyerl
            6 Eric Young (eay@mincom.oz.au)
            6 Daniel M. Eischen
            6 Adam Glass
            5 the SMCC Technology
            5 Nan Yang Computer
            5 John Hay
            5 Intel Corporation and
            5 Craig Rodrigues
            5 Comtrol Corporation
            4 Softweyr LLC, the
            4 Niels Provos
            4 Matriplex, inc
            4 Kouichi Matsuda for
            4 David Greenman
            4 Chris Provenzano
            3 Theo de Raadt
            3 the Network Research
            3 the Computer Systems
            3 SigmaSoft, Th. Lockert
            3 Peter Galbavy
            3 Mark Tinguely and Jim Lowe
            3 Henrik Vestergaard Draboel
            3 HD Associates
            3 HAYAKAWA Koichi
            3 Harvard University
            3 Andy Rutter of
            2 Todd C. Miller
            2 the RiscBSD team
            2 Sujal M. Patel
            2 Steven Wallace
            2 Specialix International
            2 Sergey Osokin
            2 Roger Hardiman
            2 Rodney W. Grimes
            2 Phase One, Inc
            2 (name)
            2 Mike Pritchard and
            2 Mike Pritchard
            2 Jonathan Stone
            2 Jeffrey Hsu
            2 Hellmuth Michaelis
            2 Geoffrey M. Rehmet
            2 David Miller
            2 Charles M. Hannum
            2 Charles Hannum
            2 Aaron Brown and
            1 [your name]
            1 WIDE Project and
            1 the PocketBSD project
            1 the FreeBSD Project
            1 Shingo WATANABE
            1 Scott Stevens
            1
            1 Powerdog Industries
            1 Paul Richards
            1 Michael Smith
            1 Michael Shalayeff
            1 Michael Graff
            1 Mats O Jansson
            1 Masaru OKI
            1 Luke Mewburn
            1 Luigi Rizzo
            1 K. Kobayashi and H. SHimokawa
            1 K. Kobayashi
            1 Joachim Kuebart
            1 Jim Binkley
            1 Jason Thorpe
            1 Jason L. Wright,
            1 Jarle Greipsland
            1 Jack F. Vogel
            1 Ivan Sharov
            1 H. Shimokawa
            1 Gordon W. Ross
            1 David Hulton
            1 Bruce M. Simpson
            1 Angelos D. Keromytis
            1 Adam Glass and Charles
            1 Aaron Campbell
flame@enterprise ~/devel/hacking/gentoo-freebsd/fbsd-6.2rc2 % \
    fgrep "This product includes software developed by " . -r 2>/dev/null | \
    fgrep -v "by the University of" | \
    sed -e 's%.*This product includes software developed by %%' -e 's:\.\? *$::' | \
    sort | uniq -c | sort -b -n -r | wc -l
112

and this is hardly a perfect list; for instance it does not cover those files where the code is not copyrighted UCB but let it figure as the developer of the code included, or where the developer is another university. And you get some fuzzy entries like "the", although NetBSD project is the first offended by measure.

So, what are we going to do? Will we be able to bring Gentoo/FreeBSD back? Beside, if mere aggregation is enough, we might be on the same boat as FreeSBIE, it might become a mess so big that would bring with us a few other project too.

Re:Article text (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510414)

For the record, I went through the source code for my FOX project's coreutils (48 programs)...

2 programs have a 4th clause for NetBSD
6 programs have a 4th clause for Caldera
1 program (uname) has a 4th clause for Winning Strategies, Inc.

-uso.

Stupid politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17508966)

This is a prime example of how stupid politics ruin good things. The Gentoo/FreeBSD project has its downloads pulled from the "mirrors" what about the people who depend on that project? What about the people who need those downloads?

"Oh well its free software so they shouldn't expect it." well if its so free then set the software free, let the mirrors live until its sorted out. I call this utter BS, its more of a case of a Gentoo Dev who has his/her panties in a knot.

FOSS developers need to know that making snap moves like that can have some devastating effects on some people and businesses. Migrating to something else can't be done over night in most situations, so for a short window they are "exposed" to problems.

Re:Stupid politics (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509602)

This is a prime example of how stupid politics ruin good things.

Actually this is a prime example of how people behave no matter what the endeavor. It's that desire to prevail. There's no reason to expect OSS to be any different from anything else. Many civil rights groups suffer the same fate also. So they remain on the side lines, or simply get swallowed up. It's the Gaza Strip without the guns. OSS will have its day when licensing issues can be thrown aside, and all time spent on developement. Until then, I don't expect much.

Ah, freedom... (3, Funny)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17508992)

Looks like we can toss a new one on our stack of freedoms:
Free as in "speech".
Free as in "beer".
Free as in "stolen".

And, yes, I understand nothing's been really stolen, and I really meant it mostly in jest. But this is one of the reasons that the community needs to understand that "open source" is not just "open source". It comprises a variety of licenses, some incompatible with each other. Developers need to be educated as to the ramifications of making bad decisions regarding software licensing.

Re:Ah, freedom... (1)

quazee (816569) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509406)

Free as in "speech".
Free as in "beer".
Free as in "stolen".
You forgot:
Free as in "cheese".

It's not theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17509734)

It's copyright infringement. ;)

No other alternative, then... (0, Flamebait)

DaveM753 (844913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509044)

I guess I'll just have to install Vista. [sigh]

not!

*BSD is Dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17509072)

Elegy For *BSD

I am a *BSD user
and I try hard to be brave
That is a tall order
*BSD's foot is in the grave.

I tap at my toy keyboard
and whistle a happy tune
but keeping happy's so hard,
*BSD died so soon.

Each day I wake and softly sob,
Nightfall finds me crying
Not only am I a zit faced slob
but
*BSD is dying.

Oh Damn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17509080)

This Gentoo/FreeBSD idea would have perfect for me. I always wanted to use FreeBSD, if it only had ports.

Scare Tactics (2, Interesting)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509270)

I'm sure this will blow over as nothing soon enough, but it's EXACTLY this kind of stuff that scares the crap out of corporations and prevents Open Source(TM) from making much headway.

The current reality is that your code is either public domain (new BSD is also allowable, GPL is _NOT_) and people will use it, or it's under one of the 7,867 Open Source(TM) licenses with 10 times that many cryptic and probably incompatible clauses that nobody really knows what to make of. The _applications_ will be used of course, but the code is dead.

The sooner people figure that out the sooner we can all stop having to rewrite everything.

Don't worry, we'll still all have work rewriting everything in the language flavor of the month. This year everyone is getting paid to rewrite all their code in Ruby I hear.

Re:Scare Tactics (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509866)

Can you explain to me why exactly it's an advantage for commercial software?

Open Source software can be reused, but requires attention to licensing constraints which may be problematic. Some of it may not be usable in a commercial product, in which case it isn't a problem; it effectively doesn't exist for you.

Closed Source software either simply can't be reused, but even if it can, requires paying somebody to receive the code that will contain licensing constraints that may be problematic, and may furthermore require a lengthy negotiation process for things that aren't being sold as off-the-shelf projects, and in that case there is no guarantee you can come to an agreement at all.

The only time commercial software "wins" is a cheap off-the-shelf library that has relatively free licensing constraints and comes with source that you are allowed to modify and recompile, with the only open source competition being something you can't use for licensing reasons. You end up with most of the advantages of open source without the disadvantages of open source. This isn't the normal use case by any means, though; it's pretty specific and doesn't cover very many cases, and some of the use cases I can think of are open-source projects that you are allowed to pay for a full commercial license if you choose, such as MySQL and QT. (Cases that does cover are commercial graphic libraries like PDF or graph generators and many very specialized libraries.)

Re:Scare Tactics (3, Insightful)

FallLine (12211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510822)

Can you explain to me why exactly it's an advantage for commercial software?
I'm not the OP, but...

A) Because most mainstream commercial/proprietary software tends to be more innovative and better. Yes, there are some exceptions, but they are very few in number and tend to be in areas where the demand is so small that it would be difficult to sustain a business on (the Windows monopoly vs Linux, perhaps being an exception in some ways).

B) Because its licensing terms are far more predictable and understandable than GPL-based software. I'd far rather trust one top-down group motivated by money (selfish, perhaps, but pragmatic), especially if I have a contract with them, than the bulk of GPL community based projects which are motivated by several different philosophies, a constantly evolving licenses, and which has too many self-promoting zealots which can spoil the works (e.g., RMS). Witness licenses going from LGPL -> GPLv2, GPLv2 -> GPLv3, and god knows where else. Even if the projects which you're immediately dependent are managed entirely by pragmatic people and has acceptable terms at present, all it takes is a few zealots changing licenses at a lower level (like its libraries, OS, etc) to force a license change and/or splinter the community.

C) Because the company that is maintaining the product is far more likely to stay in business and motivate itself to the kinds of support that you need. A company based on GPL v2 with an equally popular product is likely to only have, say, 5% of the revenue that the proprietary company nets and that company must answer to several camps with hugely divergent interests. Even with the dual-licensed business model companies, like MySQL, you are heavily dependent on them staying in business. If they go belly up, then so does the copyright assignment that allows them to dual-license... the odds of another company making this work by trying to provide support alone is highly unlikely.

D) Because most open source projects are simply half-assed and under-staffed. There are only a handful of open source projects have a critical mass of developers or a viable company behind it to make it acceptable today let alone provide any kind of assurance for the future.

Yes, I know the open source dogma answer to all these is "but you have the source!". I just don't think it means much in practice for most companies and individuals as they cannot afford the time and technical resources in practice to maintain said software themselves. Yes, some of you will say that it can be forked, but this often does not work out this way as there is often not enough people behind it on aggregate (never mind behind any one specific project organizer). When MySQL changed their client-libraries from LGPL to GPL, where did the LGPL fork go? No where.

Re:Scare Tactics (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510170)

I'm sure this will blow over as nothing soon enough, but it's EXACTLY this kind of stuff that scares the crap out of corporations and prevents Open Source(TM) from making much headway.

Really? It just sounds like an open-source developer being dilligent. Nobody has sued anybody yet (and there's no huge damages to be made from doing so).

Using commercial software (especially in a corporate environment using volume licenses and developer tools) is no protection against getting sued by a patent or copyright troll, plus there's all those sign-in-blood licenses and paramilitary anti-piracy militias waiting for a big corp. to tread on the cracks in the pavement.

The main problem is simply culture - corporations are run buy Businessmen who like doing Business which means Money Changing Hands. Think of all those procurement and legal suits who would get downsized if they weren't negotiating software licensing deals and having their egos massaged by marketdroids.

Being cynical, its a complete myth that "big business" wants to save money. Suits like huge sums of money running through their departments - big budget = big responsibility = big paycheck. OK, they want to be seen to be "making savings" but what they mean is "juggle costs between accounts" not the sort of savings that actually make your budget go down... Perish the thought.

Re:Scare Tactics (1)

CoughDropAddict (40792) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510520)

I agree with you to an extent, but I think that there are some cases where the effect is the opposite. Would IBM pour as many engineering resources into the Linux kernel if it was not GPL? Or do they want the assurance that their work benefits only the commons, and cannot be used against them by proprietary competitors?

Re:Scare Tactics (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510806)

it's EXACTLY this kind of stuff that scares the crap out of corporations and prevents Open Source(TM) from making much headway.

Nonsense. Corporations have to deal with legal and licensing issues all of the time. You think that licensing and ownership issues are new just because open source came along? Besides, all this really demonstrates is that free-software and open source developers take "intellectual property" issues very seriously and are proactive about resolving licensing issues before they become problems for others.

apple phasing out libkvm support (2, Informative)

oudzeeman (684485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509478)

OS X for Intel shipped with /dev/kmem disabled by default, which breaks libkvm (they kept the libkvm header and object files around though, and /dev/kmem can be re-enabled through a kernel boot argument). It is expected future versions will drop the support completely. It also appears that OS X on PPC based on Darwin 8.8.1 or newer also has /dev/kmem disabled by default.

I just had to remove all dependencies on libkvm for a project I work on, since we recently had our first users try to use it on OS X x86. It is software used on HPC clusters and SMPs, so there hadn't been much interest in OS X x86 until the Xeon XServes. I had been trying to get a hold of an x86 system to test on for months, and then this problem hit us.

Obviously this could affect OS X/Darwin until they completely phase this out and remove libkvm objects and headers from the software distribution.

FUD (4, Informative)

brass1 (30288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509554)

FUD, plain and simple.

1. The clause that's being referred to is clause three which states:

3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software must display the following acknowledgement:
The operative phrase being, "mentioning features or use of this software." Somehow I doubt there's so much with mentioning the features or use of libkvm no matter what the actual meaning of the word advertising is.

2. I've gone through all 15 of the .c files in my FreeBSD tree, exactly 2 of them have what *may* be a non-waived clause three: kvm_arm.c, and kvm_powerpc.c. The rest of the files are either copyright the Regents, don't have clause three, or use the CMU license.

The two files are copyright Wolfgang Solfrank and TooLs GmbH. I would submit that there is probably a clause three waiver from these folks; it's just that we haven't found it yet. Also, removing the two effected files would have no effect on functionality. Neither the ARM or PPC ports are functional.

The FUD here may not have been intentional, but it is FUD none the less.

Re:FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17510370)

And if all else fails, Wolfgang Solfrank appears to be a director of Tools GmbH, he is a BSD techie, and his phone number is on his web page. I suspect that if a waiver doesn't exist yet, one could be arranged within a couple of hours.

Goofy (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17509722)

Think about how goofy this is. Berkeley originally wants ads to include a mention of them. Joe Schmoe contributes code with the understanding that his code is licensed this way (ad must mention Berkeley), and later Berkeley decides they don't care about the ads anymore.

Now there's concern Joe Schmoe might sue if an ad doesn't mention Berkeley?!?

(Could something like that be thrown out for lack of "standing"?)

Re:Goofy (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17510550)

The problem is that many developers change the reference to Berkley to themselves or their company, which results in the need for many permutations of the sentence. And the more serious problem is that that licensing restriction conflicts linking with code under the GPL.

Maybe it were best if only one license applied (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510204)

If I had my druthers, I'd have an OS where all the code had one copyright and one license.

Failing that ... one license.

And I'd rather that be BSD than GPL personally. Which is why I'm trying to come up with a way to replace the whole userland on my system with one that's BSD licensed, but in Linuxland (I don't really feel like replacing my whole system right now as I have too much invested in it! Next machine though, I'll prolly put NetBSD on) it's easier said than done.

I'd like to see a BSD userland with autotools, even (compare xorg 7). Make things a hell of a lot easier on us.

-uso.

Re:Maybe it were best if only one license applied (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17510908)

A lot of the BSD userland is pretty portable. I've almost entirely replaced GNU coreutils with FreeBSD/NetBSD/OpenBSD equivalents. One or two things came from heirloom, and I had to write a couple myself, but overall it was an easy port. You can also replace GNU tar, GNU cpio, GNU gzip, GNU ed, among others, with BSD equivalents. I've even replaced sysvinit with the init from NetBSD, but that takes a bit more effort -- you have to change around your init scripts.

Re:Maybe it were best if only one license applied (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510966)

O_O

You're doing exactly what I'm trying to do! Maybe it would save me some hairpulling.

BTW, I did replace tar/cpio with OpenBSD pax as ported by Thorsten Kukuk + use a cut-down version of NetBSD gzip.

-uso.

Stop . . . . (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510498)

The damn FUD

And the answer is... (2, Informative)

ByTor-2112 (313205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17510790)

http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/cvs-src/2007-Ja nuary/073415.html [freebsd.org]

All this painful discussion over what is probably a non-issue? Don't you just love this brave new world of 30 blogs linking to each other creating an artificial buzz/panic? Is this a case of premature eblogulation?

Re:And the answer is... (1)

diabme69 (908951) | more than 7 years ago | (#17511032)

If you RTFA you would see that the problem isn't with programs that had copyright assigned to UCB, the problem was with programs that changed UCB to their own name/company. UCB's retraction doesn't cover them.

So, if I am an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17511084)

With a small, basically incompetent company, I am *FORCED* to include the follwing list of prestigious research institutions on my advertising? Yeah, this hurts me a LOT. WHERE DO I SIGN UP?

signed
idiot

This product includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.
This product includes software developed by the alteran, who considers himself extremely l33t.
This product includes software developed by the University of Utah and its contributors.
This product includes software developed by Inman Software Corp, and its employees, to be used freely as long as this statement is attached. Inman Software Corp acknowledges the work of many of its contractors, who may have also contributed code to this product.
This product includes software developed by the Grossman Progammers and Associates. Use of this software is fully authorized for all purposes as long as this statement is enclosed.
This product includes software developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and its contributors.
This product includes software developed by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and its contributors.
This product includes software developed by the University of North Carolina at Tweetsie and its contributors.
etc., etc.

You get the idea, but pretend I make this list TEN TIMES longer.
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