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SubjectRe: GPL weasels and the atheros stink
On Monday 03 September 2007 13:18:35 Krzysztof Halasa wrote:
> Daniel Hazelton <> writes:
> > Then go yell at Mr. Floeter. The code is dual-licensed and he put
> > BSD-License
> > only code in it. Because that's the *EXACT* *SAME* thing you're talking
> > about.
> Actually it is not.
> Dual BSD/GPL licence essentially means BSD, because rights given by
> BSD are a superset of these by GPL.

Actually, I was pointing out a logical fallacy. I'll spell it out long here so
everyone can see the point I was trying to make.

Person A writes a device driver and releases it under a dual license.
Person B modifies said device driver and licenses his changes under only one
of the licenses on the device driver. Nobody complains.
Person C modifies the same device driver and licenses his changes under the
other license on the device driver. People start complaining.

In this case either the actions of both persons B and C are legal - in which
case neither person B or person C is likely to lose a lawsuit (or even face
one) - or they are illegal, in which case the second a lawsuit is brought
against person C, the same lawsuit must be brought against person B.

The exact nature of the licenses and whether one is a superset or subset of
the other doesn't matter. Either the action of making modifications licensed
solely under one or the other of the two licenses on the original code-base
is illegal or it isn't.

<snip out the straw-man>
> The other thing is copyright notices. I think one can't legally
> alter someone else's licence conditions (in his/her name), unless
> something like that is explicitly permitted.

Fully agreed. I've even said such myself.

> However, we're talking about derivative works. A derivative
> work may be, for example, GPL-licenced:
> "Copyright (C) 1234 Joe the GPL lover
> licenced under the GPL as published"
> but could lawfully use code originally licenced under BSD:
> "Portions copyright (C) 1234 Bill the BSD lover
> originally licenced under no-ad BSD"
> Thus his (Joe's) work is GPL only, but Bill's licence notice is
> intact as required by it (BSD).

I've suggested that such be done in the future - if just because it *IS* how
it should be done.

> IANAL, maybe you (all of us) should consult one if required.

Would cost me money to consult a lawyer over this, but I do have a few friends
that have completed law school and are waiting on the results of the BAR.
They have told me that they are not legally allowed to dispense legal
advice - but I got around that by asking them to recount what the law
actually says.

Apparently the above suggestion would meet the letter of the law.


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