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Re: [gNewSense-users] BSD code

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] BSD code
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 13:50:18 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla-Thunderbird (X11/20080110)

Peter and Jesse wrote:
On Fri, 2008-25-04 at 20:01 +0200, Sam Geeraerts wrote:
Peter and Jesse wrote:
The copyright notice says "The Regents of the University of California" (plural) so there might be more than one person you can contact?

If we could find who put the update-statement in there we could ask that person. The best thing I could find was, which shows that the update was introduced in 2.4.0. Does anybody know of an easy web front end to the kernel revision logs so that we can find the author of the change?
Ooh, you're right. I contacted Paul Mackerras (paulus), but looking at
the old kernels, his time-stamped name is there before the license was
changed. Regarding the Regents of the University of California, they
would have been the copyright holders in the original license, so I
wouldn't think they would have anything to do with the problematic
introduction. However, if folks want, I can try to get a hold of the
appropriate people at the U of C.

Well, the automatic change from original BSD license to modified BSD license applied to all code originating from Berkeley. So if they can confirm that this code is theirs and that it now falls under the modified BSD license then we can give the OK on this code and ask upstream to make the update statement more clear (copyright -> license, add reference to license change, explain module-only restriction).

Now I'm a little confused. Is the issue here the ambiguity of the
update-statement, or whether the code is from the original UCB code base
or not?
 clearly says that the code is from the source code from the compress program 
from 4.3BSD. Can't we take his word for it? Although
 does not say explicitly say where the code comes from, looking through the 
code I think it's pretty clear that it's that same compress program.
Regarding contacting upstream, it would be great for the
update-statement to be a lot clearer. Does anyone know who we would
contact? The kernel-devel list? I got a pretty curt response from paulus
(who, indeed, did not write the problematic update-statement).

Sorry, I've gone a little off track. Ignore my previous message.

The bugs are about the code having no license. The initial license was original BSD. That license was changed to modified BSD automatically for all code belonging to Berkeley. If the code hasn't changed significantly so that there are no other copyright holders then these files were also subject to that change. Else, the other copyright holders had to also agree on that, I think, which they probably did.

Assuming that the update statement is supposed to clarify this and that the person who put it in had all the information, it would be good to contact him to ask about the meaning of it and possibly change it. If that person can't be found then kernel-devel is probably the next best thing. If you can't get an answer from them, then we'll just have to assume modified BSD and leave it at that.

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