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  Re: Do the right thing - Its not too late (mod -11/35)
by Anonymous Coward ( on Fri Sep 14 13:32:42 2007 (GMT)
  > > There was a PROPOSED change, posted as a diff to a mailing list.
> No no, it was published. I have copies of two publically-available repositories (well, one isn't publically-available any more) with the changes in. But that's in the past.
> The current status is that the code is still there, wrapped in a GPL. That's what this article is about.

You're talking about something else.

The diffs that were proposed a week or so ago were the ones that would have violated copyright had they been accepted. They were not.

There is BSD code in the kernel, and where it's legal to relicense them under the GPL, that's what's happened. Yes, in some cases relicensing was explicitly allowed. For others, the GPL may have been added, but the previous, GPL compatible, license has not been removed, allowing for a situation where modifications will only be available in the GPL'd form.

Nobody sane (yes, I'm excluding certain hotheads in the BSD community) is suggesting that anything currently in the repositories counts as a genuine license violation.

The only circumstances where what the Linux crew has done can be considered license violations are those where the advantages proposed by BSD advocates over the last few years, including those who issued apologia for the bcw fiasco, are completely false.

> > The *BSD community is really showing bad faith by asserting that
> > this is similar in any way to the situation a few months ago, where
> > the copyright violation happened, it was deliberate, and the OpenBSD
> > team were, for a time, redistributing code with an unauthorized
> > license change.
> It's not similar at all.

I know, that's what I said above. The bcw case was an instance of deliberate copyright violation. What we're talking about here, however, is an instance where some BSD zealots are upset because:

1. They're using definitions of dual licensing where black means white, paper means water, and "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" means "You're bound by both the BSD and GPL license, and must always given everyone downstream both licenses, unless you're a BSD project, in which case you can ignore the GPL."

2. They believe that while proprietary software manufacturers are under no moral duty to license their proprietary modifications as source code under the BSD license, because that's the advantage of the BSD license, the Linux community is, and that use by the Linux community of the GPL is a crime against humanity. And a crime.

3. They have no idea why the Linux community would be upset by being called zealots, copyright infringers, code stealers, and other defamous terms.

The Linux community would be better off treating BSD code as poison, which is a shame because both communities work so much better when there's a spirit of cooperation. But with BSD zealots promoting this level of hatred against the Linux developers, and even those pointing out their behavior is counter productive, I don't see anything changing soon.
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