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From: Warner Losh <>
To: John Cowan <>
Cc: COFF <>,
Subject: Re: [COFF] [TUHS] ksh88 source code?
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2021 10:33:29 -0700	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

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On Thu, Dec 23, 2021 at 9:14 AM John Cowan <> wrote:

> -tuhs +coff
> On Wed, Dec 22, 2021 at 1:30 AM <> wrote:
>> As a vendor or distributor, you would care.  Anyone doing an OS or other
>> software distribution (think the BSDs, of course;
> There is no legal reason why the BSDs can't distribute GPLed software;
> indeed, they did so for many years.  Their objection is purely ideological.

However, not all of our downstreams could, however. So it's also a
practical consideration.

Also, some left over anger from the early days when BSD software would
sometimes have the copyrights removed and be GPL'd. Thankfully, all the old
cases of that were resolved years ago.

Anyone selling a hardware device with embedded
>> software (think switches/routers; think IOT devices; think consumer
>> devices like DVRs; etc) needs to care.
> Only if they are determined to infringe.  Obeying the GPL's rules (most
> often for BusyBox) is straightforward, and the vast majority of infringers
> (per the FSF's legal team) are not aware that they have done anything wrong
> and are willing to comply once notified, which cures the defect (much less
> of a penalty than for most infringements).  The ex-infringers do not seem
> to consider this a serious competitive disadvantage.  GPL licensors are
> generous sharers, but you have to be willing to share yourself.

Except it's easier to just use software where there's not a compliance
issue. Regardless of the altruism of the GPL licensors, easier is a
competitive advantage. It's taken about 15 years from the initial busy-box
suits for supply chains to catch up with the proper provenance so that
downstreams know they are getting the proper sources.

GPL (or similar "virally"
>> licensed) software carries legal implications for anyone selling or
>> distributing products that contain such software; and this can be a
>> motivation to use software with less-restrictive license terms.
> Only to the victims of FUD.  Reusing source code is one thing: repackaging
> programs is another.

Having been on the other side of this (a GPL shakedown that was improper),
I'd say it's more than just FUD.

The GPL is cool and all, but it isn't all roses and sunshine.


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COFF mailing list

  reply	other threads:[~2021-12-23 17:33 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 6+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
     [not found] <>
     [not found] ` <>
     [not found]   ` <>
     [not found]     ` <>
     [not found]       ` <>
     [not found]         ` <>
     [not found]           ` <>
     [not found]             ` <>
2021-12-23 16:14               ` John Cowan
2021-12-23 17:33                 ` Warner Losh [this message]
2021-12-23 17:44                   ` Larry McVoy
2021-12-23 18:18                     ` John Cowan
2021-12-24  3:46 Rudi Blom
     [not found] <>
2021-12-22 14:51 ` Adam Thornton

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