Subject: Re: Better than..
To: Bill Studenmund <>
From: Thomas Michael Wanka <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 01/06/2000 02:02:49
On 5 Jan 00, at 14:17, Bill Studenmund wrote:

> Two things: One, who is "You"? That capitalization in the middle of a
> sentence is unusual. :-)
Sorry for that. I am a native german speaker (as you may allready 
have noticed the vocabulary I use and by my pronounciation :-)) 
and in a letter we have to capitalize when we directly address 
someone (in english that means to capitalize the word "you") 
allthough that might probably have been discarded with the new 
spelling rules. I know, that I have my problems here.

> 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 ma=
> with GPL'd bits in it would not be redistributable under terms of the GP=
> The GPL requires that everyone be able to get source for all parts of wh=
> 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 fil=
> 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 the=
> represent, we just don't let GPL'd code in.
> GPL'd LKM's are fine.
> Take care,
> Bill

I do have my problems with the GPL! However I am used to get rid 
of problems or to get along with them. I can get along with the GPL 
and I have to get along with the problems of mixing code with 
different kinds of licenses too, so I mentioned that I can understand 
that you (the kernel developers) don=B4t accept GPL code in the kernel.

NetBSD comes with Xfree86 (AFAIK under the GPL) so I knew you 
did not dislike GPL=B4d code!

I wrote some Dos Utilities in the late 80ies that I published as PD so 
I know that such "freedom" can be troublesome (at least for me) too, 
and I found no license, that would work perfectly for me.