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SubjectRe: BSD Licensed files in Linux kernel.
On 7 Mar 2000, Andi Kleen wrote:

>> Sorry to disturb you folks, but someone has pointed out to me
>> that there are some files (e.g. linux/drivers/net/bsd_comp.c)
>> which are licensed under the BSD license and not the GPL.
>> Whilst the Linux kernel itself is `meant' to be GPL'd, there
>> would appear to be some doubt about whether the GPL would allow
>> such files to be included (no sub-licensing, etc). Has anyone
>> received legal advice about whether those files do in fact
>> represent a further restriction that would conflict with the
>> GPL ? If so, can they still be (re)distributed with Linux ?
>> Afterall, it is not appropriate to just remove the offending
>> lines...
>The file in question is copyright UCB.
>UCB has recently dropped the problematical clause (3) of the license,
>and the BSD license without that does not conflict with the GPL. UCB
>as the copyright holder can drop that. They did. So there is no problem.

That is true, but I've got one question about it. When UCB
dropped clause (3), is it across the board for all existing BSD
licensed software? In other words, if I take BSD source that
contains the clause, can I now ignore it completely? I've wanted
to create some specific Linux software under GPL license *ONLY*
for a while now, but didn't want to start from scratch. The only
pre-existing code I could find was BSD licensed (bsdgames), and
as such I couldn't use GPL so I wasn't interested. I tried to
track down the authors of the code, but nobody responded so I
gave up.

Can I now use the new BSD license without the clause, or would
the authors of the software need to make a new release with the
modified license? In particular the package is bsd-games as
stated above. If I can now use that code in a fully GPL product,
I'd like to do so.

Any help appreciated.

Take care,

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

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