Discussion:
Licensing for Dtrace headers?
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Pedro F. Giffuni
2011-06-20 01:41:26 UTC
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Hello;

Just thought I'd bring the old subject of FreeBSD's Dtrace
licensing issue again:

According to the FreeBSD developer that ported it (RIP):

"If I add CDDL code to FreeBSD's generic kernel and ship
the binary, I change the license from one that is purely
BSD to include CDDL clauses. I am told by the FreeBSD
community that isn't acceptable. So I am not allowed
to do it."

I may be misinterpreting but it would seem like just
adding a #include to CDDL code will make all the file
CDDL'd too. This is the idea behind "copyleft", and
while it is respectable and serves a purpose, this
doesn't really work well for headers.

FreeBSD has a project proposal to try to avoid the CDDL
in order to ship a working Dtrace with the kernel:
http://wiki.freebsd.org/IdeasPage#head-18730945e29664d263fda697f5bc95fbe52d6271

Unfortunately this would also take FreeBSD into an
obscure patent ground and it wouldn't be acceptable
for either Oracle or FreeBSD.

I would like to suggest an intermediate approach: can
Oracle relicense the Dtrace headers (only) under
the Apache Source license?
http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.html

This is not copyleft but still keeps the patent
protection.

thanks in advance,

Pedro.

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