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Mail Archives: cygwin-apps/2001/12/04/02:56:13

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Message-ID: <3C0C8191.1030406@ece.gatech.edu>
Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2001 02:56:01 -0500
From: Charles Wilson <cwilson AT ece DOT gatech DOT edu>
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To: Charles Wilson <cwilson AT ece DOT gatech DOT edu>
CC: cygwin-apps AT cygwin DOT com
Subject: Re: Licensing: BSD-w/advert
References: <3C0C68C6 DOT 1050003 AT ece DOT gatech DOT edu>
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Charles Wilson wrote:

 > Is it legal to compile / distribute software that is licensed using
 > the  BSD w/advert clause, if that software is linked with
 > cygwin1.dll?  According to the FSF, BSD-w/advert is incompatible
 > with the GPL.

A few points

1. The modified BSD (BSD no advert) is fully compatible with the 
unmodified GPL, according to the FSF.

2. On July 22 1999, the Director of the Office of Technology Licensing 
at the University of California officially *recinded* the advert clause 
appearing on BSD Unix files.  He stated that it was "hereby deleted in 
its entirety". (see www.opensource.org)  So, files that were originally 
part of UCB's BSD Unix, even if they STILL carry the advert clause, are 
officially licensed under the BSD no advert license now, and are fully 
compatible with the unmodified GPL.

3. Cygwin is distributed under a modified GPL, that allows linking with 
software that may otherwise be incompatible with the GPL, IF the (CPL 
incompatible) license is an approved "open source" license.  However, 
www.opensource.org doesn't specify whether the old BSD+advert license is 
"open source"  It only addresses the new BSD-no-advert license.

4. There exist some packages that are NOT part of the UCB BSD distro yet 
are licensed with the old BSD license, or some non-UCB variant of it 
(There's even a "Christian Software Public License" that requires "John 
3:16" to appear on all marketing material...).  These REMAIN 
incompatible with the unmodified GPL, regarless of whatever the Director 
of UCal's OTL says.  However, it's not clear whether they are officially 
"open source", and may thus be linked with cygwin (under its modified GPL).

It's paragraph #4 that I'm asking about.  Basically, does the old BSD 
license satisfy the "open source" exception of cygwin's license?


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