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SubjectRe: Announce: DinX windowing system 0.2.0
On Tue, 28 Dec 1999, Ben Williamson wrote:

>The intention of using the MPL with GPL option is that anyone making a
>Linux kernel distribution can take whatever files they need from DinX,
>replace the MPL notice with the GPL notice, and put them in the
>distribution, perhaps to be statically linked. This is my understanding
>of what the Netscape lawyers meant when they wrote:
> * Alternatively, the contents of this file may be used under the terms
> * of the GNU General Public license (the "[GPL] License"), in which case
> * the provisions of [GPL] License are applicable instead of those
> * above. If you wish to allow use of your version of this file only
> * under the terms of the [GPL] License and not to allow others to use
> * your version of this file under the MPL, indicate your decision by
> * deleting the provisions above and replace them with the notice and
> * other provisions required by the [GPL] License. If you do not delete
> * the provisions above, a recipient may use your version of this file
> * under either the MPL or the [GPL] License.
>I'm sorry you seem to be annoyed by my choice of the MPL. I did read it
>carefully and gave it plenty of thought before making that choice. I
>chose the MPL because it says what I want to say better than I could have
>said it.

No, not annoyed. I don't mind other licenses, I just don't want
to see any license violations.

My concern is: If one includes it in kernel, either modularly,
or statically linked using the GPL license: if they make
modifications to this code, they are making mods to a GPL work,
and unless they also allow their modifications to be licenced
under MPL, you will not be able to relicense the resulting code
with MPL. Since you can't force anyone to licence under both
terms, the GPL wins, and any modifications done to the GPL work
remain GPL unless the author of the mods gives the changes back
under both licenses as well.

It basically makes things very sticky indeed. Anything that is
kernel related, and non-GPL is going to cause controversy and
heat regardless of wether it is legal to the word of every

Mentioning non-GPL kernel stuff is just flamebait... People are
very wary of something non GPL in the kernel, and most certainly
anything that is non-GPL will not ever get into the official
kernel - unless it is a GPL compatible licence such as the BSD
license without the advertising clause.

So, in reality, yes, you can licence under MPL and GPL, however
in order to use the code with the kernel, almost anyone out there
that touches it will license under GPL their changes.
Personally, if I have a choice of license, I always use GPL, and
if I make modifications, I *ONLY* license my changes under GPL,
so I'm sure others see it like that too.. At any rate, the
proliferation of licenses out there seem to scare people away
when it is not "GPL", or when a possible GPL conflict may arise.
It is touchy ground.

Basically, if something kernel bound is not going to be GPL,
completely, then you might as well make it non-GPL all the way..

That is just my opinion however... To get the widest
distribution of a work in the kernel level, GPL is the way.

You certainly can offer other licenses to use the code for other
things, but it can't be linked statically to the kernel.

>If folks on the linux-kernel list are of the general opinion that I'm
>completely wrong and that the MPL/GPL would prohibit the DinX kernel
>modules from ever becoming part of a statically linked kernel
>distribution, please let me know asap so that we can resolve this while
>the contributor list is still short. Thanks.

Well, as long as the linking is done statically, and the license
used is GPL, then there is no problem. It is impossible for you
to link your code statically to the linux kernel and distribute
the resulting binary and combined source as anything other than
GPL. You can link modularly, and distribute the binary module as
MPL/GPL, but if it is linked direct, it must be GPL, or GPL
compatible (which MPL is not).

Since it appears that the purpose of DinX is for embedded stuff,
and size is important, it is most likely to be used statically
linked, and as such must be GPL (or GPL compatible like BSD
without the ad clause).

I'm sure others will offer good info for you as well. I'm sure
that your intentions are good also, but these things as you say
above need to be cleared up when a project is young.

Take care,

Mike A. Harris Linux advocate
Computer Consultant GNU advocate
Capslock Consulting Open Source advocate

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