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No, it doesn't. (5, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396523)

It appears that someone's submitted a patch to the LKML that wrongly strips the BSD atheros driver of its license - a clear violation of copyright.

However, until it's in Linus's tree (or even the MM tree), the violation is not by "linux", but the contributor, Jiri Slaby. [blogspot.com]

Anyway, thanks to the OpenBSD team for these great drivers. Thanks to the Linux team for including them (under the correct license).

Re:No, it doesn't. (2, Interesting)

sigzero (914876) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396547)

I think that they are more upset with the attitude more than anything. If you read the LKML threads it is matter of fact "there I changed it and now it is GPL2 only".

Re:No, it doesn't. (2, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396563)

I think that they are more upset with the attitude more than anything.

You're upset at the behavior of an individual on a public mailing list?

How on earth do you cope with the wider internet? (and manage to post on slashdot for god's sake).

Re:No, it doesn't. (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396607)

Please read before posting. I did not say "I". I said "they". I should ask how you manage it because you seem to be lost in such a short post.

They Killed BSD !! You Bastards !! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20398011)

Stan: They Killed BSD !!

Kyle: You Bastards !!

Re:No, it doesn't. (4, Informative)

phoebe (196531) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396621)

It appears that someone's submitted a patch to the LKML that wrongly strips the BSD atheros driver of its license - a clear violation of copyright.

The contributor being the author of the wireless module makes this article a bit short on common sense.

First check the author of the patch, its Jiri Slaby.

Subject [PATCH 4/5] Net: ath5k, license is GPLv2
From Jiri Slaby <>
Date Tue, 28 Aug 2007 12:00:50 -0400
Digg This

ath5k, license is GPLv2

The files are available only under GPLv2 since now.

Signed-off-by: Jiri Slaby

Then check the copyright notice on top of the source files, there is a copyright to ... Jiri Slaby.

+++ b/drivers/net/wireless/ath5k_base.c
@@ -4,25 +4,9 @@
* Copyright (c) 2007 Jiri Slaby
* All rights reserved.

So an author changed the license of his own code, hit the presses!

Re:No, it doesn't. (5, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396759)

Not just that, but it appears that the original file was dual licensed to BSD and GPLv2.

What exactly is this article about?

Re:No, it doesn't. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396837)

What exactly is this article about?

You've visited the site, contributed to the discussion, presumably loaded the ads on the page, had your visit logged by Google... so what the fcuk do you care? Mind your own business web boy! (and please come again).

It's about dividing the communities.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396919)

The BSD and GPL communities are two groups with much in common and some differences. That's especially true of the OpenBSD people who are very much committed to freedom for their software (and just disagree with the GPL people about how that is best defined). This kind of article is about trying to set up atificial disagreements between those communities so that they don't cooperate well. I write copyleft software and content (GPL/GFDL/CC-SA) but I would mostly relicence it if an important project like OpenBSD or X.org asked for it. I would make that decision based on the value of the project. If I feel that a project is harmful overall then I probably wouldn't.

The trick is that we have to not be divided and work together sensibly.

Re:It's about dividing the communities.... (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397061)

The trick is that we have to not be divided and work together sensibly.
Mod parent up +5, Insightful!

I myself write mostly copyleft software, but if the OpenBSD or any other important project asked for it to be relicensed under BSD, I would certainly dual-license the software.

All of this senseless bickering is pointless. We as open source and free software developers have most of our goals in common. Let's pool our resources here and work together towards those common goals rather than having all of this stupid infighting.

You all need to realize that this is exactly what Microsoft and other companies that would like to see us shut up want. Keep us divided, keep us fighting because, and this is going to sound cliche -- but it's truee -- united we stand, divided we fall.

Re:It's about dividing the communities.... (5, Insightful)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397239)

[OpenBSD people] just disagree with the GPL people about how that is best defined

It isn't so much a disagreement about how "free" is defined; it is more about who the target of "free" is. The BSD-style folks focus on programmers; the GPL-style folks future end-users. Both want the code to be "free" (can do whatever they desire with the code) to their target.

Re:It's about dividing the communities.... (1)

vthokie69 (549779) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397853)

Which is exactly why neither license is necessarily better than the other. They're just different licenses better suited for different applications and different purposes.

No... It's about something a little different... (3, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397455)

Theo and Company happen to be VERY obnoxious at times. This would be one of them.

They were guilty of the very thing they're accusing the Linux crowd of back a while
back and the Linux crowd handled it rather nicely and helpfully, but Theo went ballistic
and basically got all bent out of shape indicating that they weren't really violating
the GPL licensing on a kernel driver (they were, but...) and so forth.

Now, we see a percieved violation being "observed" by Theo and Company
and in reality, the people in the discussion thread all bent out of shape over it weren't
paying close attention. The original author did the change- which is legit all the way
around.

This isn't about dividing BSD and Linux. This is about Theo and some of the OpenBSD
crowd being a little more mouthy than usual and simply going off half-cocked.

Nothing new here- move along.

Re:No, it doesn't. (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397285)

And even more hilarious is that the **ORIGINAL AUTHOR** did it in the first place.

It's about Theo and company getting their panties in a wad over any percieved "stealing" of their
codebase from the OpenBSD tree and relicensing it under the GPL. What the dummies didn't get
was that the contribution and re-release of the code was under the GPL V2 by the original author
which has the right to do whatever he damn well pleases with it if he's not breaching the Copyrights
of other contributors to a given piece in the process of relicensing it.

If the original author did this, Theo and company need to put a brown paper bag over their heads...

Re:No, it doesn't. (4, Insightful)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396779)

actually, most of them don't have him as the copyright holder.

Looks more like some yutz decided that he didn't like the BSD licence and went in and changed all the licences to GPLv2, in the files, and didn't do anything else.

Honestly, I can't complain, as long as the copyright notices are kept, and unchanged, it is acceptable (someone posted thsi further down).

Nonetheless, someone going in, and doing nothing but removing the BSD licencing on every file (or at least the first 4 or 5, I didn't look through the whole thing), and replcaing it with "this code is now under GPLv2", seems somewhat childish, more like a tantrum than anything else.

Re:No, it doesn't. (1)

dysprosia (661648) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396823)

No, you need to include the permission notice too on BSD licensed source as well as the copyright. Those have been uniformly stripped out of BSD-only licensed code, which violates the license.

Re:No, it doesn't. (5, Informative)

kernelpanicked (882802) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397071)

Wrong! But thanks for playing. I see you convinced the greater slashdot horde to give you a few mod points for your wrong answer, congrats. The correct answer is the code is copyrighted 2004-2007 Reyk Floeter 2006-2007 Nick Kossifidis. This is a clear case of someone grabbing BSD code, stripping and replacing the license with the GPL, and submitting it as a patch to the mainline kernel.

Re:No, it doesn't. (4, Informative)

uglydog (944971) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397159)

But what about the lines that say

- * Alternatively, this software may be distributed under the terms of the
- * GNU General Public License ("GPL") version 2 as published by the Free
- * Software Foundation.
- *
+ * This file is released under GPLv2
Doesn't that mean the the second person is opting to distribute under GPLv2? And the copyright notices are intact.

* Copyright (c) 2004-2007 Reyk Floeter
* Copyright (c) 2006-2007 Nick Kossifidis
*

Re:No, it doesn't. (1)

kernelpanicked (882802) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397243)

Surely it can be distributed as GPL2 if it's dual licensed. That's not an issue, but only the author of the software has the right to strip the attribution lines from the code. That violates the BSD license and more importantly, is just a morally bankrupt path to take.

Re:No, it doesn't. (2, Informative)

georgeb (472989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397635)

That's a load of crap. Being dual-licensed means that I can choose to abide whichever license suits me best. This _includes_ the right to redistribute the whole code under the GPLv2, ignoring the BSD license and all it's requirements altogether.

Did you even read the original patch? (5, Informative)

sethawoolley (1005201) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397691)

It appears that you can't read this particular patch style. The lines with + mean added, the lines with - mean removed.

The lines without either mean that's context for the differences.

If you look at the original patch, no attribution was removed. The attribution was in the context lines.

It looks like the .c files were handled appropriately and it was merely the .h files that had the license completely ripped out. The .c files were dual-licensed and said you could choose either. They just removed the BSD license as that was "choosing" GPLv2. The .h files are just some interfaces and don't change often anyways, so the BSD license is good enough for them (they should have left those). The .c files are the actual implementation, which would change between operating systems.

Here's a link to the actual diff as provided in the original article:

http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/8/28/157 [lkml.org]

You'll also note that the dual-licensed code had the committer's copyright notice on it. In some cases it was only his notice, originally. With the data immediately available, maybe he stripped it out in a commit before this one, but they don't seem to be accusing him of that. They are mainly accusing him of ripping out the BSD license from a couple .h files since they didn't have the dual-license notice in them. If they aren't dual-licensed under both, you can relicense as GPLv2, but you have to include the BSD notice under its own terms. The GPL itself even says not just attribution, but the original notices themselves must be preserved. One additionally might say that since the GPL says to preserve the original notice, that even in the dual-license case you must preserve the BSD license in order to initially comply with the GPL, although that's a requirement of the GPL and not a dual-licensing/BSD provision. A dual-licensing (as you can see in this case) clearly says you can pick either, since the word "Alternatively" (e.g. the ath5k_reg.h license) implies if you chose the following path, you can ignore the provisions of the previous path.

In summary, it looks like a lot of this was nit-picking over how to actually do the license notice preservation, rather than preserving somebody's attribution. I imagine it'll be fixed up in very little time and few people will care about this in more than a day or two.

Re:No, it doesn't. (3, Informative)

stevew (4845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397733)

Correct as far as you went - but did you bother to look at the followups???

Several people basically said Nope - can't do that. How about dual licensing?

The author replied - yes please, I'm away from my system right now - could someone do that.

(the above paraphrased..)

So in my mind - someone made a mistake, others pointed it out, and the original author asked for it to be corrected in the suggested manner.

Re:No, it doesn't. (2, Informative)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397377)

So an author changed the license of his own code, hit the presses!

Nope... check the first patch that appears in the article:

@@ -2,17 +2,7 @@
    * Copyright (c) 2004-2007 Reyk Floeter
    * Copyright (c) 2006-2007 Nick Kossifidis
    *
- * Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software for any
- * purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above
- * copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.
- *
- * THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES
- * WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
- * MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR
- * ANY SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES
- * WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN
- * ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF
- * OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.
+ * This file is released under GPLv2


See the two copyright holders? They would need to give permission.

N.B. 'This file is released under GPLv2' is not really the recommended notice to add to source files. See 'How to apply these terms to your programs' at the end of the GPL text.

Re:No, it doesn't. (1)

OttoM (467655) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397385)

The diff show only part of the files. Jiri Slaby is not the sole copyrightjholder, so he cannot change the license without agreement of the other authors.

Re:No, it doesn't. (3, Insightful)

ACNiel (604673) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397423)

You missed the whole point.

Does Jiri Slaby have the right to change the license on Reyk Floeter's code?

We don't care about whether the license on the patch itself was changed, but the license from the code he borrowed.

Re:No, it doesn't. (1)

Toy G (533867) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397467)

Jiri is not the only author of that driver...

* Copyright (c) 2004-2007 Reyk Floeter
* Copyright (c) 2006-2007 Nick Kossifidis
* Copyright (c) 2002-2007 Sam Leffler, Errno Consulting
* Copyright (c) 2006-2007 Nick Kossifidis
* Copyright (c) 2007 Jiri Slaby
* Copyright (c) 2004, 2005 Reyk Floeter

Slashdot can be "sensationalist", but in this case there's a real problem.

Re:No, it doesn't. (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396679)

Exactly,

I don't even know why this is news, Until Linus accepts it, it's some random patch submitted to the tree, tons of those are rejected daily.

The entire story and Slashdot submission is plain old FUD. if it was accepted and part of a new kernel tree I can see the story, but right now it's absolutely nothing but some random guy changed. Are we going to start getting stories submitted about what someone says on their blog now?

Re:No, it doesn't. (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397283)

Ooo oo! I've been waiting for my trash [mrnaz.com] to be slashdotted!

Re:No, it doesn't. (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397353)

Are we going to start getting stories submitted about what someone says on their blog now?

I know you are not new here, by your UID. :) They've been doing that for years.

But more on topic - I recall a story a few months ago where Linux drivers for something made it into BSD. Didn't Theo go off on the guy that asked them to be removed or whatever? I assume that story is part of why this one got posted...

Exactly right ... (0, Flamebait)

DarrenR114 (6724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397647)

This is a case of arrogant GPL-nazis doing EXACTLY what they castigated the BSD group for.

It's ironic justice, kharma, or whatever you want to call it.

What goes around comes around.

trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20397413)

BSD types licensing is just evil or plain dumb. Someone may license some code using a BSD license and, sometime later, is obliged to pay for his own code that was used in some gadget by someone else. I think that GNU License is the way to go.

Re:trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20397825)

> Someone may license some code using a BSD license and, sometime later, is obliged to pay for his own code that was used in some gadget by someone else.

How? You already have YOUR code... and under BSD you can use it however you wish.

What you don't have, is someone else's changes to your code. Too bad, if you preferred GPL, but you're certainly not paying for anything of yours.

No honor amongst theives (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396527)

No honor amongst theives eh? Lawlz.

Re:No honor amongst theives (4, Funny)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396545)

No orthography among ACs, eh?

Copyright is only good when it comes to the GPL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396537)

Hello,

Consulting for several large companies, I'd always done my work on
Windows. Recently however, a top online investment firm asked us to do
some work using Linux. The concept of having access to source code was
very appealing to us, as we'd be able to modify the kernel to meet our
exacting standards which we're unable to do with Microsoft's products.

Although we met several technical challenges along the way
(specifically, Linux's lack of Token Ring support and the fact that we
were unable to defrag its ext2 file system), all in all the process
went smoothly. Everyone was very pleased with Linux, and we were
considering using it for a great deal of future internal projects.

So you can imagine our suprise when we were informed by a lawyer that
we would be required to publish our source code for others to use. It
was brought to our attention that Linux is copyrighted under something
called the GPL, or the Gnu Protective License. Part of this license
states that any changes to the kernel are to be made freely available.
Unfortunately for us, this meant that the great deal of time and money
we spent "touching up" Linux to work for this investment firm would
now be available at no cost to our competitors.

Furthermore, after reviewing this GPL our lawyers advised us that any
products compiled with GPL'ed tools - such as gcc - would also have to
its source code released. This was simply unacceptable.

Although we had planned for no one outside of this company to ever
use, let alone see the source code, we were now put in a difficult
position. We could either give away our hard work, or come up with
another solution. Although it was tought to do, there really was no
option: We had to rewrite the code, from scratch, for Windows 2000.

I think the biggest thing keeping Linux from being truly competitive
with Microsoft is this GPL. Its draconian requirements virtually
guarentee that no business will ever be able to use it. After my
experience with Linux, I won't be recommending it to any of my
associates. I may reconsider if Linux switches its license to
something a little more fair, such as Microsoft's "Shared Source".
Until then its attempts to socialize the software market will insure
it remains only a bit player.

Thank you for your time.

Re:Copyright is only good when it comes to the GPL (1, Offtopic)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396573)

Is this suppose to be a flame? Assuming not, you would only have to contribute your code IF you distribute Linux yourself. It doesn't sound like you plan to.

And as to this statement: Furthermore, after reviewing this GPL our lawyers advised us that any products compiled with GPL'ed tools - such as gcc - would also have to its source code released. that's just plain BS. You company needs to hire better lawyers.

Copy and paste troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396583)

This is a copy-and-pasted troll which has appeared before. Please do not feed it.

Re:Copyright is only good when it comes to the GPL (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397313)

That bit sounds remarkably like "Mike Cox" from the ZDNet boards. It just seems like his style.

Re:Copyright is only good when it comes to the GPL (1)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396661)

"bit player"... 24% of all servers shipping with Linux I do not think is a bit player...

You my sir either do not understand GPL, or you implemented your design quite poorly. Simply using Linux does not constitute needing to "release your source". Also, if you do not want to deal with the GPL, great!! Use BSD instead.... :-)

Re:Copyright is only good when it comes to the GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396721)

mmm... copypasta

Re:Copyright is only good when it comes to the GPL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20397013)

This is fairly old copypasta. You fail at trolling. Try harder next time.

why no posts? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396541)

why no posts? I might have to RTFA

Hmmmm (1, Offtopic)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396555)

That pot and kettle are here somewhere...

Re:Hmmmm (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396767)

Absolutely. This situation is unbelievable.

A few months ago, a GPL'd Linux driver was incorporated into the mainline OpenBSD kernel tree (albeit some months before release, and largely non-working.) The Linux developers concerned contacted the OpenBSD team via the regular mailing list, Ccing some relevant Linux and legal people. The email was polite, more or less friendly, and constructive, offering help to the OpenBSD people to ensure the situation was resolved with both projects having a working driver at the end of the day.

The OpenBSD team's response was to go nuclear. Theo called the Linux developers "inhuman". Many argued that the copyright violation was legitimate performing coding acrobatics to pretend that real, copyrighted, code was never being distributed under the BSD license; others argued this proved the superiority of the BSD license because if it had been the other way around, the OpenBSD team would never have objected, given the BSD license allows you to do (apparently) anything, whereas the GPL prevents use in closed systems.

Well, what a bunch of, frankly, hypocritical two-faced liars. The OpenBSD team's response to an apparent BSD license violation (which we were assured would never happen, because the BSD license is so liberal) is to directly accuse the Linux developers of copyright infringement. Rather than involve appropriate mailing lists and relevant people, the complaint is made on the public Undeadly.org website. Rather than offer help, the OpenBSD developers just spit blood. And none acknowledge that the copyright infringement hasn't even happened yet, that is to say, the proposed code is a patch that has yet to be accepted into the mainline kernels.

This is the second time the OpenBSD team have owed Linux developers an apology, and I bet it's the second time we're not going to hear one, instead hearing the same self-righteous fraudulent apologetics we hear one.

OpenBSD developers have time and time again claimed "moral superiority" over GNU and Linux due to their adoption of a license that allows code to be used in closed projects. It always was a specious argument, but it's looking all the more absurd today.

Disparity between ideology and practice (2, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397025)

> OpenBSD developers have time and time again claimed "moral superiority" over GNU and Linux due to their adoption
> of a license that allows code to be used in closed projects. It always was a specious argument, but it's looking
> all the more absurd today.

Doesn't this always tend to happen with organized religion? The "our ideology is better/truer/stronger than yours so we are superior and can condescend/oppress/forcibly convert" syndrome?

(Flashes on the surrealistic scene of the Romans watching RMS fight Theo de Raadt in the Colosseum...)

Re:Hmmmm (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397073)

Moral of the story: don't fuck with Theo.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20397173)

No, the moral of the story is to ignore Theo and rest of his merry bunch of clowns.

Re:Hmmmm (5, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397241)

OpenBSD developers have time and time again claimed "moral superiority" over GNU and Linux due to their adoption of a license that allows code to be used in closed projects. It always was a specious argument, but it's looking all the more absurd today.

Claiming any particular licence (BSD/GPL) to be superior is like asserting that cars are superior to helicopters. In far too many cases, the licences are dragged in to try to justify a bad argument, and the fault lies with both camps. GNU and BSD zealots alike adopt Talibanesque positions that do nothing but harm to the community.

This story should have been a simple clear-cut case it weren't for a small rabble-rousing group. Funnily enough, Theo posted a fairly decent and non-inflamatory respones in the early discussions. This is in stark contrast to the earlier GPL case (mentioned in your post) where his reaction was indefensible.

Incidentally, the BSD licence infringement has already taken place. That happened as soon as the author distributed the code with the licence stripped from it. Doesn't matter whether or not it hit a main-stream kernel. As soon as he made it available to others, distribution kicked-in. That said, the author has a case to answer for but certainly not the entire Linux community the "OMG LINUX STOLE OUR CODE!" crowd would have us think.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397347)

Incidentally, the BSD licence infringement has already taken place. That happened as soon as the author distributed the code with the licence stripped from it. Doesn't matter whether or not it hit a main-stream kernel. As soon as he made it available to others, distribution kicked-in. That said, the author has a case to answer for but certainly not the entire Linux community the "OMG LINUX STOLE OUR CODE!" crowd would have us think.

Good catch. This is, I believe, correct, and if I could re-edit my post I'd reword it to reflect that. The infringement has occurred, but it was not done by anything resembling the Linux community, with no code actually being in the kernel, either in released or pre-released form.

Re:Hmmmm (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20397573)

FWIW - I took the initial GPL -> BSD flamewar as being more of an 'OMG OpenBSD Stole Our Code'

which is why theo got pissed if you read the whole thread - he didn't like that the
driver developer posted to the whole list & cc'ed legal people instead of just writing
the actual committer directly and working it out between them,

The inflammitory attitude, in his eyes, was the approach taken in reporting the violation,
and he in his thoughts responded in kind. so in that sense a calm response here would be consistent
with what he sees is the way to go about things..

Strange (2, Interesting)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396557)

The License says:

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software for any
- * purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above
- * copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.
Granted that section has been removed but the copyright notices referred to:

* Copyright (c) 2004-2007 Reyk Floeter
    * Copyright (c) 2006-2007 Nick Kossifidis
Are still there, it is then shown to have been newly licensed under the GPL (Which you can do with the BSD as I understand it, you could re-license a derivative or even the original code as you wish).

Personally I would have left in some detail to show that the code was initially issued under the BSD, I would find that meets with my own moral requirements, I would also include a link to the place the BSD code originated, but there is no requirement to do so. That is the difference between the BSD and the GPL, Previously this code could have been closed (and If BSD versions were lost then it would remain closed) under the GPL it now cannot be closed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I read the diff correctly.

Re:Strange (2, Insightful)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396567)

Replying to own post - I need reading comprehension lessons. They shouldn't have removed the permission bit. So yeah, its wrong.

Re:Strange (3, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396589)

The following was removed from the license:

* Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software for any
* purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above
* copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.
That sentence is pretty clear. Not all BSD code can be relicensed.

Let me remind you however, that this was the work of an individual who posted to a public mailing list. It hasn't been accepted into Linus's or Morton's tree.

Re:Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396903)

The individual that posted it also happens to be the copyright holder.

Re:Strange (1)

49152 (690909) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397077)

It appears (from above postings) that the one who submitted the patch is the same person that originally wrote the code in question.

If this is correct then there is no problem here at all and the article is totally meaningless.

An author is allowed by copyright law to relicense his work at any time, of course the versions distributed with the BSD license would still be valid to use. Effectively this means there now is two versions of this code with different licenses.

But it *also* says: (1)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397311)

"Alternatively, this software may be distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License". So it certainly appears that you can choose between distributing it and keeping the notice intact, or distributing it under the GPL. Now it may be that not all the files say that, or that you have to keep the notice anyway, or there's some other complication, but on the face of it it may be that the person who removed the notices thought they were allowed to.

Re:But it *also* says: (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397571)

In the first patch stanza, a permission blurb that makes no mention of the GPL is replaced, and the copyright holder is not Jiri Slaby (i.e. he is removing the license blurb from someone else's code). Also, even with the code that is dual licensed, I don't think it's ok to remove the license specification (one would simply leave it in). IANAL, but it seems that in the case where half a file is new code, the author should add more description saying that some of the code in the file is BSD licensed, but there's a substantial amount of code licensed only under the GPL. Then the binary distribution of the model can be under the GPL, assuming that it still follows the BSD license. The mistake being made here is thinking that two licenses being compatible means that one of them doesn't have to be honoured. Compatible means that both can (and should, in this case) be honoured at the same time.

Re:Strange (2, Interesting)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396591)

really really bad form to reply again to my on post (but since when has that stopped me..), but reading further there is this:

- * Alternatively, this software may be distributed under the terms of the
- * GNU General Public License ("GPL") version 2 as published by the Free
- * Software Foundation.
Not sure what should apply now, although in spirit releasing it under the GPL with the original author listed as copyright holder seems OK in spirit and probably OK legally too.. (IANAL)

Re:Strange (4, Informative)

fruey (563914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396605)

http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/8/29/69 [lkml.org]

Someone pointed out the problem and a patch is likely on its way.

Re:Strange (1)

gomiam (587421) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396771)

Well, I think the problem lies in different files having different licensing options. It seems ath5k.h, ath5k_hw.c and ath5k_hw.h contain only the BSD license while ath5k_base.c, ath5k_base.h and ath5k_reg.h have both BSD and GPLv2 licenses inside. ath5k_regdom.c and ath5k_regdom.h have yet another license (GPL-compatible BSD license?).

As it is, some files could have the license text changed, others cannot, IMO. But IANAL.

Re:Strange (1)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396933)

really really bad form to reply again to my on post
No it isn't. You can reply to your own posts all you like. Where do people get this weird notion that it's bad form?

Re:Strange (2, Informative)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397089)

The notion come from the fact that If I had taken the time in the first place I would have been able to post a more accurate and coherent post, rather than having to submit updates with corrections in, not good form.

Re:Strange (3, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397603)

No it isn't. You can reply to your own posts all you like. Where do people get this weird notion that it's bad form?

I agree with you, nothing wrong with that.

Re:Strange (4, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397637)

No it isn't. You can reply to your own posts all you like. Where do people get this weird notion that it's bad form?

I agree with you, nothing wrong with that.
Well I disagree you bastard.

Re:Strange (1)

supersnail (106701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396627)

The main gripe the Free Software Foundation is that its practically impossable to violate.
Witness Microsofts hijacking of the BSD Sockets library and Kerebros security library and protocol.

So its a little bit rich to complain about replacing a license which states "you can do anything you want " with a license which state "you can do anything you want except steal the copyright".

Besides all that is really GPL2ed is the very few mods in this particular distribution.
The original BSD vaersion is still out there.

 

Re:Strange (5, Insightful)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396827)

The original BSD vaersion is still out there.

Just like it would if the code was taken properitary.

It's a bit rich to deny people to keep their own changes proprietary, wouldn't you say?

Except that's what the GPL tries to do. It's removing freedom.

And that's what many of us BSDers are against. We want our software to keep freedom. Including the freedom of future developers to keep their own changes private, or get paid for them. Thereby, we also allow the end users the freedom to buy those changes - a freedom they wouldn't have if the code was GPLed, because the incentive to make the changes wouldn't be there.

As an example, we have Apples operating system, partially made on code I wrote. And I'm a very happy user of it, even though I (or rather, my employer) had to pay for the extra stuff Apple has added. The ability to do so is a freedom I have partially gotten from having released my software under the BSD license.

Eivind.

Re:Strange (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397429)

It's a bit more than that. He removed the BSD licence text, thus illegally changing the licence.

It's no different to me taking a GPL'ed project and changing it to a BSD licence. My goal is noble in that I think everyone should have the right to steal but that doesn't change the fact that I'm going against the wishes of the author, and breaking the law in the process. It doesn't matter that the BSD version is still out there any more than it would if there was still a GPL'ed version of the Linux kernel floating around but HP decided to fork and relicence under a BSD licence.

Re:Strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20397483)

A) Microsoft did not hijack the BSD Sockets or Kerberos. Everyone who had it previously still has it and anyone who wants it now can get it. If you want to use it in your code today, go right ahead.

Why not, instead of griping, let the person who wrote the code decide? If I write something and couldn't care any less who uses it or why or how or for what purpose but I still want 'credit' for writing it, I can use the BSD license.

If I don't want anyone to ever be able to use it in a proprietary derivative I'll GPL it. (and then come on Slashdot and pretend that I've 'set copyright on its ear' or the like, ignoring that fact that just like Microsoft and just like BSD all I've done is assert my will over code that I wrote)

Re:Strange (1)

reidhoch (89219) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396629)

Only the original author can relicense the code.

Mod parent up! (3, Interesting)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396705)

Parent has insightfully noticed his own error. And the error is modded up. So mod the parent up.

The move is clearly against the BSD license. (Also, combining GPLv2ed code and BSDed code is subtly against the GPL, as the requirement to reproduce the license - as shown and violated here - is an extra requirement compared to the GPL, violating the "no additional restrictions" clause of the GPL.)

Eivind.

Re:Mod parent up! (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396755)

The move is clearly against the BSD license. (Also, combining GPLv2ed code and BSDed code is subtly against the GPL, as the requirement to reproduce the license - as shown and violated here - is an extra requirement compared to the GPL, violating the "no additional restrictions" clause of the GPL.)

If so, seems like one that should be removed. I think an exception would be fair for other infinitely redistributable licenses, or a 'restriction' that consists solely of a copyright notice that in no other way infringes the GPL.

Re:Mod parent up! (2, Informative)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396921)

Giving an exception seems within the spirit of the GPL. Reproducing the copyrights/licenses is actually onerous in many cases, but it doesn't usually interfere much with the end user's ability to change and redistribute the code as source, which is what the GPL seems to mostly be concerned about.

Personally, I would probably add another GPL poison pill to whatever I released after that, though - to require people to actually contact me and have the code relicensed if they want to hack around with the GPL. And convincing me to relicense would include convincing me that they knew exactly what they were doing and had sound reasons for needing/wanting to use the GPL instead of sticking with a more free license; I see routine licensing under the GPL as damaging, and want to do my little bit against it.

Eivind.

Re:Mod parent up! (1)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397149)

I was always curious about this one. Since the GPL has the 'restriction' that you must duplicate and advertise license under the GPL at every opportunity, in every source file, help text and document associated, how is putting the BSD license in the same code an 'extra restriction'?

It is at least in the SPIRIT of the GPL - be sure to tell/remind everyone how it is licensed and inform them of their rights and privileges. If you are not allowed to print the BSD license in GPL code because "it's an extra restriction", then dual-licensing code is also disgusting and bad (but, cannot be under the GPL as it gives the author the explicit right to do so) and moving to strict GPL-only is also discouraged (haha, try selling that to Stallman)

Re:Mod parent up! (1)

Ajehals (947354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397265)

To answer your question, its not a restriction. The problem is that it is then unclear as to how the file is licensed, more to the point, if I were issued a program with two separate licenses included I would assume I could use either and would choose whichever I deemed more useful (although I would take legal advice first..). That hampers the GPL's intent to restrict what can be done with the code, in this case add restrictions to the original license which allows itself to be restricted in a certain manner, it would mean, for example that I could take the code, modify it and then close it (as the BSD allows that), something that the GPL tries to prevent.

With licensing there must be clarity or you just create a quagmire.

Re:Mod parent up! (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397477)

My experience makes this restriction much more obvious - I've had to reproduce about 70 licenses for a product, instead of just the two. Well over a hundred pages of licenses, instead of about 2 (with, for the GPL, a written offer of source code).

For a physical product, this adds a noticeable extra burden. One extra license is no big deal, yet multiply it by a bunch and it becomes obvious.

Just reproducing the license (without adding the restriction that the distributor HAS to reproduce the license), as in dual-licensing, would not add any extra restrictions. It would also only be possible for the original author, who can say whatever he wants about the license - including modifying the GPL by granting exceptions from it, such as the ability to license under another license. He could also add extra restrictions, as long as he actually only used his own code. (The only thing that could block that would be the license on the text of the GPL itself; as far as I remember that's a free distribution license with no right to create derivatives, which would be fine - as the author would not be modifying the GPL text.)

Those in glass houses... (3, Insightful)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396561)

Im suddenly reminded of this [slashdot.org] , where linux gpl'd code found its way into BSD via a wireless driver.
Those in glass houses shouldnt throw stones

Re:Those in glass houses... (3, Informative)

moranar (632206) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396615)

The response from the person involved is at least much more responsible and reasonable than in the earlier incident: http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/8/29/69 [lkml.org]

Re:Those in glass houses... (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397909)

That is just a stupid argument. If it is wrong it is wrong and should be pointed out and fixed.

Uummmmm...... (2)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396565)

No....

It appears that someone (Jiri Slaby) doesn't understand what they are allowed to do with regards to the license.

This would - unlikely - have ever made it into an official patch set.
No Story Here -- move along.

Uummmmm...... Not even close... (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397349)

Considering that Jiri happens to be the original copyright holder of the code in question,
they DO very probably understand what they are or are not allowed to do with regards to
the licensing of the code. Since HE does NOT need licensing to produce it, relicense it, etc.
he can do with his code what he sees fit to do.

This would likely have made it into an official patch set if it could have been verified
that Jiri did the change.

Still, no story really here other than Theo and company being their usual abrasive selves-
move along seems fitting still...

Dual licensed (3, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396613)

Ignoring moral issues, is there a problem? The source was dual-licensed under GPL and BSD licenses ("Alternatively, this software may be distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License ("GPL") version 2 as published by the Free Software Foundation."), so isn't it allowed to release it under just the GPL? IANAL.

I'll leave moral issues to another thread.

Re:Dual licensed (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396659)

OK, http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/8/28/304 [lkml.org] says

Technically the best we can do is to leave the license as dual
licensed, but keep in that technically that means nothing and is just
for show, the GPL is what would apply as its derivative work and is
the most restrictive license. This applies to any other driver in the
kernel right now with a dual license tag.


I still don't really understand!

Re:Dual licensed (2, Insightful)

moranar (632206) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397427)

I'll try to explain to the best of my understanding, and someone will likely correct me if I'm wrong. Disclaimer: I am not a kernel dev nor a lawyer, just an amateur coder.

It is possible to dual-license a piece of code. In the case of this kind of stuff, the BSD license is much more permissive than the GPL as to what you can do with the code, so one could arguably take the piece of software under the BSD license and "close" it, developing proprietary software on top of it.

As the new code is a derivative work, and the new modifications are under GPL v2 (something which is possible as long as you maintain the original caveats along with the original code), those aren't easily appropriated, and become "viral". If one sought to extend that piece of software, he would have to do it under the GPL terms, or find the original code in OpenBSD and fork from that.

Luis R. Rodriguez in the LKML seems to imply (this is the part I'm not certain about) that for all practical purposes, dual-licensing in this case -and all other similar cases inside the kernel- means "GPL v2 licensing", since the GPL is by far more restrictive on what you can do with the code. This interpretation would be important if the linux kernel code evolved further than the OpenBSD code, since one would rather use the former than the latter, and thus the issue would arise. Otherwise, it would be much safer just to use the BSD-licensed code.

Re:Dual licensed (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396931)

As I understand it, not all of the code was dual-licenced. That's where the problem lies.

Jury's Still Out (5, Informative)

Bob(TM) (104510) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396657)

The fact is the original patch post was on Tue, 28 Aug 2007 12:00:50. Since then, the discussions are ongoing as how best to proceed. Recently, this was posted:

Date Wed, 29 Aug 2007 08:35:05 -0200
From "Jiri Slaby"
Subject Re: [PATCH 4/5] Net: ath5k, license is GPLv2

On 8/29/07, Johannes Berg wrote:
> On Tue, 2007-08-28 at 12:00 -0400, Jiri Slaby wrote:
>
> > The files are available only under GPLv2 since now.
>
> Since the BSD people are already getting upset about (for various
> reasons among which seem to be a clear non-understanding) I'd suggest
> changing it to:

yes, please. Can somebody do it, I'm away from my box.

> + * Parts of this file were originally licenced under the BSD licence:
> + *
> > * Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software for any
> > * purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above
> > * copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.
> > *
> > * THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL
> WARRANTIES
> > * WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
> > * MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR
> > * ANY SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES
> > * WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN
> > * ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF
> > * OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.
> + *
> + * Further changes to this file since the moment this notice was extended
> + * are now distributed under the terms of the GPL version two as published
> + * by the Free Software Foundation
>
> johannes
>

As mentioned before, it is the LKML, not the Rosetta stone. Things change ...

Re:Jury's Still Out (2, Informative)

dysprosia (661648) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396723)

There's still a problem as not all the files are dual licensed (eg drivers/net/wireless/ath5k_regdom.c). They can't strip the entire license text from those files which are licensed BSD only and relicense as GPL.

Legal Weirdness (5, Informative)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396693)

Basically, you are allowed to link GPL'd code to BSD code. So if I wrote "The boy hit the baseball" under the BSD license and you alter it to "The large boy hit the baseball well" under the GPL, the original statement is still available for use under the BSD license - even in your second statement. As long as they remove your GPL'd addition (the intertwined words "large" and "well"), they are free to use it under the BSD's terms.

The practical point is that the BSD code, when linked with GPL code, must adhere to the restrictions of both licenses. Most people just say that it has been relicensed under the GPL. That isn't exactly true. From most practical standpoints, the BSD license has so few restrictions that it doesn't matter, but technically that BSD code is still under the BSD license and it's requirements must be met.

So, that BSD code can easily be linked and intertwined with GPL code, but those few requirements of the BSD license must be met so long as there is any BSD code in the GPL'd derivative work.

Welll (1, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396709)

Perhaps I'm dense or something, but is it me or is the Linuzzz and Open Source field getting more and more legally complicated with every single year? I remember the time when using and programming for Linuzzz was relatively easy, with none or little to care about legally. These days, everywhere you look there are legal flames flying in the sky, GPL version2 vs version3 vs version456 or BDS and the fried chicken.... Maybe it always has been so, but as a developer, I find that sometimes is easier for my nerves to program commercially for Windows than to give out something as OS.

Before anyone jumps and mods me troll (please feel free to bring down my imaginary karma), I am the developer of one succesfull program that is now open Source under the Mozilla 1.1 license, and yes, you must be carefully when you release something under any OS license. When the program was freeware , but not OS, I used to sleep a lot better than now, when the last 3 monts only I've been battling with the new team about only legal aspects... Oh, well, next piece os OS I release will be on the public domain.

Re:Welll (0, Flamebait)

JeremyGNJ (1102465) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396769)

I believe you're correct. This is Microsoft winning. But it's less about Micorosft winning the game, and more about FOSS losing it for themselves.

"We hate all the legal restrictions and copy rights of closed-source software"...
"So we're gonna write a bunch of things that are twice as complicated"

Re:Welll (1)

etrusco (576870) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396981)

You're either silly or a troll.
The chance of infringing a license is just the same whatever license you release your software (under). If you don't use/link any third-party code you're (essentially hehe) free of any infringement. If you use then you can infringe copyright by releasing code under the public domain just right the same. If you're afraid of being ruthlessly massacrated on /. then just be very careful whose copyrights you infringe on ;-)

Re:Welll (2, Insightful)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397029)

If you dont want to be modded as troll, dont refer to things in unnecessarily derogatory terms such as "linuzzz"
I fully agree with the mods decision to mark you as a troll on that basis.

Programming for windows is subject to the same legal worries as far as licenses are concerned, dont kid yourself that its only an open source issue.

Yes, you need to put thought into any license you release things under - Does it suit your requirements for one?
If not, thats the wrong license to use - and theres nothing stopping you from defining a license of your own which does meet them

Re:Welll (0, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397103)

Nahh... I believe that none here gets modded down by saying M$, so why would I get modded down by saying Linuzzz? Oh wait. this is /.

Re:Welll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20397133)

I think you just proved his point.
begone troll

Call Slashdot? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20396761)

I just noticed over at podlinez.net you can call slashdot and hear the current story read to you.

+1 (510) 495-6380

Problem solved (1)

ens0niq (883308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396871)

Problem [lkml.org] solved [lkml.org] .

From the thread after TFA... (2, Informative)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 6 years ago | (#20396997)

An Anonymous Coward wrote this by the original article....

How much you will to bet this won't instantly appear on Slashdot

;-)

Regarding comments (1)

deftcoder (1090261) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397167)

Seems someone found an earlier article on his blog that is a bit hypocritical. :-)

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=636719409 7783716840&postID=4418674504017401530 [blogger.com]

Re:Regarding comments (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397625)

That's freakin' hilarious.

Kind of spooky, though. Blogger.com knows who I am... I don't recall ever creating an account with them. Maybe once, on my laptop, 3 years ago... but not from this machine. I wonder what their authentication is tied to?? Google?

Is BSD's "author reference" GPL's "restriction"? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20397345)

To begin with, I just contacted one of the authors and it appears
this is just miscommunication by some people who didn't bother to ask:
the code is really dual-licensed BSD and GPL, so that people
from all sides can get the benefit. The case that wasn't.

Let's remind that GPL and BSD are different licences.
You can turn a BSD code into GPL but not vice versa
and this has some serious implications, since GPL *does not*
enforce author back reference as long as the code remains GPL;
short of "the copyright holder is FSF" itself.

It means that this is a legally valid path:
BSD code with ref. -> GPL code with ref. -> GPL code without ref.

It is not clear to me though if BSD's request for author reference
should be considered "a further restriction" under GPL's regime.
A lawyer please?

We all agree that some back reference would be nice,
if not for credit at least for documentation reasons.

OpenBSD Wireless (2, Interesting)

cyberkahn (398201) | more than 6 years ago | (#20397453)

OpenBSD Wireless is something the OpenBSD team does really well. I had a brand new laptop, in which I first installed Ubuntu 7.04. Well, wireless didn't work and after reading all the hacks that would be required I decided to install OpenBSD out of curiosity. Well, everything worked with no hacks required. Kudos to the OpenBSD team who perform such miracles as well as all the other wonderful things they have done for the open source community e.g. OpenSSH.
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