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SubjectRe: Relicensing tracepoints and markers to Dual LGPL v2.1/GPL v2,headers to Dual BSD/GPL

* Alan Cox <> wrote:

> > > Can we re-distribute with dual license (e.g: bsd/gplv2 or lgpl
> > > 2.1/gplv2) about some source of linux kernel source? I think that
> > > linux kernel source is GPLv2 only. Frankly speaking, I am not know
> > > exactly about legal issues of your questions.
> >
> > Yes, the legality of such relicensing is questionable as that code was
> > never developed outside of the kernel but as part of the kernel.
> We have lots of dual licensed code in the kernel. [...]

Correct, but that that common case for dual licensing is when it was a
work existing outside of Linux, licensed differently - and it's a common
courtesy to keep any GPL-compatible licenses when such code goes into
the kernel.

This is a different case though. This is about code which was written
within Linux, was licensed under the kernel's license (GPLv2), written
and modified by many people - and now it's proposed to be extracted
under a new license - which license it never had before.

> [...] The copy in kernel may well only act as GPLv2 but the copy
> outside has other licences (Linus for example relicensed some of his
> early locking primitive/atomic bits for the Mozilla folks)

That's a more clear-cut case: it's for something independent-looking,
written from scratch by a single person (Linus) and that person gave the
second license. (it's also rather trivial wrappers around atomic
instructions and hence most of it might even be not copyrightable)

> > So for those two grounds i cannot give my permission for this
> > relicensing, sorry.
> One comment here - and one to be careful of for relicensing purposes.
> In most parts of the world if you were paid by an employer to produce
> the code that the request relates to then the rights to it belong
> solely to the employer. Permission (or refusal) from the code author
> may well be meaningless because such permission must come from the
> employer and right owner in question (so IBM, Red Hat etc) in those
> cases and not the author.

Of course - if performed as hire for work in the US. And there's
jurisdictions where work performed outside of work hours might still be
the copyright of the author's. (There's even jurisdictions where only
natural born persons may have copyright ownership, never corporations.)
So it's safest to ask for both. IMHO it's a complex, "ask your lawyer"
issue. I am not a lawyer.


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