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SubjectRe: New sound maintainer?
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Hannu Savolainen writes:
>I don't see any problems in it. USS Lite is the way how sources of
>USS/Linux are made available for free. There is only about 1000 lines of
>kernel code which is not included in the source distribution.

It may be for free, but it's not compatible with the GPL.
(This confusion is why some people complain about the term
"free software" and prefer "freed software" or "liberated
software" or other terms.)

>The sound driver has not been distributed under GPL but BSD. The reason
>is that FreeBSD folks don't accept GPL'ed code to their kernel. The new
>copyright is inspired by copying policies of mklinux and Java. No single
>line of it has been written yet so we are open to comments.

This is where another common misconception about copyrights and
licensing comes into play. Let's eliminate these misconceptions
right away:
o *Copyright* is the author's (or the author's designatee's) ownership
rights to intellectual property.
o *License* is the terms under which the copyright owner allows
others to use that intellectual property.
This means that a copyright owner can allow their code to be
used under multiple licensing terms. For instance, you can
distribute code that you wrote under *both* the GPL *and*
the BSD license. This only requires that you insist that others
who send code changes to you also agree to place their code under
the terms of both licenses.

>It's possible to retain this current copyright in the driver also in
>future. It's not completely out of question to start distributing it
>under GPL in future. However I just wonder if we are living in communism
>where just one ideology is accepted.

Please don't raise that straw man, Hannu. I never said that the GPL
is the only acceptable license. I didn't say that it was the only
acceptable license terms for any code that goes into the Linux kernel.
*However*, from a *legal*, *not ideological* standpoint, any code
that is included with the kernel *must* be *compatible* with the
GPL. That is, it must have a license which does not require other
restrictions beyond those in the GPL. It can *also* be licensed
under terms that do have other restrictions, but as long as the user
has the option of using the GPL or a compatible license, things are
just fine.

michaelkjohnson


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