Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Mar 2013 23:45 UTC
Linux "Today the ZFS on Linux project reached an important milestone with the official 0.6.1 release! Over two years of use by real users has convinced us ZoL is ready for wide scale deployment on everything from desktops to super computers."
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Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

This is more of a political/religious issue, rather than a real legal dispute. I highly doubt any open-source distro would ever get sued by any GPL license holder due to the CDDL being incompatible in technicalities. But that's just my opinion.


I disagree, especially since Oracle is one very interesting party. There is an unquestionable legal incompatibility between the GPL and the CDDL, not a political one, so Linux with ZFS can't be distributed, and that is a fact. On the other hand, if I'm not mistaken, nothing prevents you from building Linux with ZFS, or having ZFS as a module, as long as you do not distribute it.

In a nutshell, you cannot legally have a complete binary Linux distro with ZFS out of the box, but you can work around it by building it on the fly.

Reply Parent Score: 10

saso Member since:
2007-04-18

I disagree, especially since Oracle is one very interesting party. There is an unquestionable legal incompatibility between the GPL and the CDDL, not a political one, so Linux with ZFS can't be distributed, and that is a fact.

The incompatibility arises from GPL's insistence that all derived work must be GPL. The CDDL prohibits removal of the license, hence the deadlock. Please note, that here the "GPL" party is the one that's wronged, not the CDDL one, so Oracle would have no standing to sue. It's the rest of the Linux copyright owners that would have to do that.

Now take a guess, what do you think the odds are that some Linux code author is going to sue, say, Debian for distributing ZFS inside of Linux? We're not talking distributing some closed-source evil baby-eating binary blob (ahem-nVidia-ahem). We're still talking copyleft open-source, but simply a different one.

That's what I mean that it's a political, or rather, a perception issue. If people aren't suing Ubuntu for shipping the closed-source nVidia driver, they're not going to sue simply because they dared to ship a piece of code that's under a different open-source copyleft license.

Look, from where I'm standing, I couldn't care less. The longer Linux holds off integrating technologies such as ZFS and DTrace, the more users flock to OpenSolaris-derived and FreeBSD systems. Then we get crazy half-functional duplicates (Btrfs, SystemTap) popping up simply because some religious nut couldn't get it through their thick skull that as long as the license grants them the same freedoms, it really doesn't matter whether the letters on the file header say "CDDL" or "GPL".

Reply Parent Score: 2

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Oracle inherited the CDDL licencing on ZFS/Dtrace from Solaris when they bought it. Now that they (Oracle) own ZFS they could re-licence it should they want to, instead they keep their ZFS enhancements proprietary and are continuing their efforts on their own GPL licenced BTRFS filesystem.

The reason Solaris licenced ZFS and DTrace under the GPL incompatible CDDL deliberately was because they were losing market share to Linux and obviously didn't want to 'give away' any advantages to their main competitor.


Then we get crazy half-functional duplicates (Btrfs, SystemTap) popping up simply because some religious nut couldn't get it through their thick skull that as long as the license grants them the same freedoms,

No, again the reason they are incompatible with GPL is because that was a deliberate choice by Solaris when they licenced them as such to prevent Linux from using Solaris's 'crown jewels'.

Now, Linux is GPL and thus obviously can't use CDDL licenced code so it's not a question of 'religious nuts' or NIH.

Oracle created BTRFS, companies like Red Hat, IBM, Intel have worked on SystemTap. They did this because they can't legally ship Linux with ZFS or DTrace, and therefore won't, even if some guy named 'saso' on OSNews says that 'there's no legal risk'.

Reply Parent Score: 4