Subject: Re: Better than..
To: Thomas Michael Wanka <>
From: Bill Studenmund <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 01/05/2000 14:17:21
On Wed, 5 Jan 2000, Thomas Michael Wanka wrote:

> On 5 Jan 00, at 11:23, der Mouse wrote:
> > GPLing them will actually make it more difficult for NetBSD to support
> > them (except, possibly, as LKMs), as we'd then have to reimplement
> > truly free (or I should say, more nearly truly free) versions of them.
> > (We don't accept GPLed code in the kernel.)
> > 
> Hi,
> I did not know You did not like GPL Code in the kernel (although I 
> can understand that).

Two things: One, who is "You"? That capitalization in the middle of a
sentence is unusual. :-)

Second, the reason we don't allow GPL'd code in the kernel is not that I,
or der Mouse, or anyone else dislikes it, but because a NetBSD kernel made
with GPL'd bits in it would not be redistributable under terms of the GPL.
The GPL requires that everyone be able to get source for all parts of what
you link the GPL'd code with under terms equally free as how you got the
GPL'd code.

That doesn't mean everything has to be GPL'd (look in the Linux kernel
and you'll find files w/o GPL licenses on them). But a number of the files
in our kernel (everything with the old BSD license and derivatives with
licensing clauses) have slightly more restrictive licenses. Not so
restrictive as to be onerous, but not the flat out free of GPL. Since to
give those source files away under terms as "free" as the GPL would
violate the license on those files, we can't mix them in the same
linked-together file as the GPL'd bits. Given how much of our kernel they
represent, we just don't let GPL'd code in.

GPL'd LKM's are fine.

Take care,