Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 2nd Sep 2007 15:46 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Legal OpenBSD project creator Theo de Raadt detailed his concerns regarding BSD-licensed code and Dual-BSD/GPL-licensed code being re-licensed under only the GPL (as previously discussed): "Honestly, I was greatly troubled by the situation, because even people like Alan Cox were giving other Linux developers advice to... Break the law. And furthermore, there are even greater potential risks for how the various communities interact." Regarding the concern that the BSD license allows companies to steal code, Theo reflected: "GPL fans said the great problem we would face is that companies would take our BSD code, modify it, and not give back. Nope - the great problem we face is that people would wrap the GPL around our code, and lock us out in the same way that these supposed companies would lock us out."
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RE[3]: He's wrong
by s-peter on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: He's wrong"
Member since:

I don't think that is possible unless the licence that the redistributor chose explicitly allows removal of the other license. Otherwise the redistributor does not have the right to change the licensing terms.

It may be possible to create a new dual licensing scheme where it is possible, but with the existing BSD/GPL it is not. (Keep in mind that with a new licensing scheme, the terms of distribution would be different from both the BSD and the GPL, so reconsideration of license compatibilities would be necessary.)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: He's wrong
by dylansmrjones on Mon 3rd Sep 2007 02:18 in reply to "RE[3]: He's wrong"
dylansmrjones Member since:

What are you talking about?

My suggestion was not to remove the discarded license, but add a notice telling which license was chosen.

For this particular situation it goes like this:
The license chosen does not have to allow for removal of the other license, because the other license does not exist in any legal sense in the moment it is discarded. There is as such nothing that prevents removing the BSD-part (or the GPL-part), since it is not a legal document, unless it is chosen (in which case the other license is not a legal document). The license clearly allows for only one of the licenses and the copyright holder has told that the linux-devs were correct. This is because the code is licensed as BSD or GPL.

There is another kind of BSD/GPL dual license. That's the normal one where the BSD-code is sublicensed as GPL. In those situations it is a copyright violation to remove the BSD-license because it is licensed as BSD and GPL.

The "and" and "or" makes the difference.

Remember, just because a license text is present in a file does not mean that license is valid. Especially not when talking about optional dual licensing.

The FreeBSD-team removed the GPL-part and OpenBSD guys did not complain.

The code from Sam Leffner is not BSD-licensed NOR GPL-licensed. It is licensed under a license saying you can choose BSD or GPL. It explicitly allows for discarding one of the licenses (but not discarding both). One can then choose to distribute as BSD or GPL or under the original license, passing the option along. But one doesn't _have_ to do that. It's your own choice. It explicitly allows for choosing the license terms ├Żou want (from the two options).

Reply Parent Score: 3