Subject: Re: [ Re: ADOSFS and GPL]
To: None <>
From: Niklas Hallqvist <>
List: amiga-dev
Date: 02/16/1994 00:49:23
[ I'm sorry going on about these legal matters in a dev group, but I
  think it *is* of big importance being able to use GPLd work in the
  NetBSD kernel.  If you disagree, just say so... --Niklas ]

>>>>> "Fred" == Fred Fish <> writes:

RMS> You don't need to change the terms for the other kernel files.
RMS> The fact that one file is covered by the GPL can never force you
RMS> to apply the GPL to some other file written entirely by you.  If
RMS> you copy the GPL-covered code, then the GPL has to cover the file
RMS> that it was copied to.
Niklas>  Well... this is a definite ruling, so what should I do?  Send of
Niklas> my patches to Chris for inclusion at sun-lamp?  Make a stand-alone
Niklas> package just for those of the users who compile their own kernels?
Niklas> I prefer the former.

Fred> Hmm, I think you may have misinterpreted the response.  When
Fred> taken in context with the paragraph that follows it, it says to
Fred> me "the existance of a file covered under the GPL cannot force
Fred> you to cover your own file under the GPL, but if you compile and
Fred> link it with your own file *then* you must change your file to
Fred> also be covered under the GPL, if you distribute the resulting
Fred> binary".

The paragraph following the one I cited was:

	In general, anyone distributing a kernel binary must obey the
	conditions for each source file used.  If one of the source files is
	covered by the GPL, that brings in the requirement to make available
	complete source for that binary, including the files that are not
	covered by the GPL.

Here RMS says nothing about that the files not under GPL originally
will be forced to be GPLd after a binary release.  He says "make available
complete source" which is in fact easiest done providing a pointer to
some FTP sites carrying NetBSD.  The sole problem I can think of is:
Do we need to archive snapshots of the sources when we make binary

Fred> Basically I think it boils down to the fact that GPL and non-GPL
Fred> source files can be intermixed, and distributed as source files,
Fred> without any requirements to GPL the entire source base.  But as
Fred> soon as anyone makes and distributes a binary that includes the
Fred> GPL file, they must also distribute the other source files under
Fred> the GPL.

What do you say, Richard?


Niklas Hallqvist	Phone: +46-(0)31-40 75 00
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