Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

License compliance issues could affect all BSD-derived distributions

Filed under

The Gentoo/FreeBSD project, which combines the FreeBSD kernel with Gentoo Linux design principles, is in a fix. Its lead developer, Diego "Flameeyes" Pettenò, discovered licensing issues while working on the libkvm library and the start-stop-daemon -- and Pettenò says that the problem might not be limited to his project, but could trap other BSD-derived projects as well.

"The licensing trouble began," says Pettenò, "when I looked up the license under which libkvm was released, as I was going to link into a GPLv2 software (portage-utils, a Gentoo-specific utilities package), and I found it using the four-clause BSD license (the original one, basically). When I looked up what else was using it, I found we were already redistributing a binary handled under GPLv2 license that could cause us issues." He immediately stopped public distribution of the project's files.

The license in question is the original BSD license, which was in use till 1999. One of its clauses, notoriously known as the advertising clause, requires all advertisements mentioning the software to include an acknowledgment sentence that credits the University of California, Berkeley, and its contributors for their efforts. This wasn't much of an issue until other developers started modifying the statement to credit themselves for their modifications. This becomes a headache when software with the same clause makes its way into an operating system like Gentoo/FreeBSD. In effect, it requires Gentoo/FreeBSD to reproduce every credit statement in all their advertisements.

Full Story.

re: Credit arguments did appear on Tuxmachines

Yeah, there was a big one one time over a distro develper that was accused of little more than copying (rebranding) another. It was ugly. In the end I unpublished most of the controversial content and comments, which kinda goes against my grain. But all parties agreed to that resolution, so what else can ya do.

You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Erle-Spider, the Ubuntu Drone with Legs Needs Your Help to Become a Reality - Video

We've talked a lot about the upcoming Ubuntu-powered drone with legs, called Erle-Spider, from the Erle Robotics team, who just demoed the device live earlier today, October 13, on Canonical's UbuntuOnAir YouTube channel (see the video below). Read more

Best Quality and Quantity of Contributions in the New Xen Project 4.6 Release

I’m pleased to announce the release of Xen Project Hypervisor 4.6. This release focused on improving code quality, security hardening, enablement of security appliances, and release cycle predictability — this is the most punctual release we have ever had. We had a significant amount of contributions from cloud providers, software vendors, hardware vendors, academic researchers and individuals to help with this release. We continue to strive to make Xen Project Hypervisor the most secure open source hypervisor to match the security challenges in cloud computing, and for embedded and IoT use-cases. We are also continuing to improve upon the performance and scalability for our users, and aim to continuously bring many new features to our users in a timely manor. Read more

Liquorix Kernel Benchmarked Against Linux 4.2, Linux 4.3 Kernels

Recently there were a number of requests about testing the latest state of Liquorix, the self-prcolaimed "better distro kernel" that is an optimized version of the Linux kernel with extra patches that makes it optimal for desktop, multimedia, and gaming workloads. Here's some fresh Liquorix vs. mainline Linux kernel performance benchmarks. Read more