> My attorneys have reviewed this license and they tell me that this means
> that the ReiserFS is ***NOT*** open sourced. Using it with this
> restriction makes any commercial vendors who want to ship it liable for
> damages claims, since the act of shipping it means they will integrate
> it with an OS. We thought of doing something similiar with NWFS, but
> our attorneys, after spending several weeks examining the GPL and
> reviewing case law for open source IP, advised us is that we either
> could "give it all away" or restrict it, but that if we placed any
> restrictions on it, it wasn't open sourced. If you place any use
> restrictions, then you are in essence not releasing as "open" source.
> As such, we opted for the full GPL with no restrictions, since they
> defeat the whole purpose under current US law. I know lots of folks
> want to maintain some control (which is not a bad thing if you are
> trying to turn a profit), but they should understand that a GPL+ license
> scheme defeats the whole point and makes the stuff less attractive .....
> Food for thought.
> "Mike A. Harris" wrote:
> > This message is not intended to start a negative discussion, but
> > rather to clarify some licencing confusion. I hope that after
> > reading this, a quick and simple change to the distribution of
> > reiserfs which will eliminate licencing confusion, and possible
> > legal holes. (Might even be a good idea to have a lawyer look
> > over the text.)
> > I just downloaded the latest 2.2.13 reiserfs patch for linux, and
> > just read the file:
> > /usr/src/linux/fs/reiserfs/README
> > Inside this readme file it contains the 'licence terms' of the
> > reiserfs code.
> > Here is the relevant portion from that file reformatted for
> > email, but otherwise intact:
> > ---- Reiserfs licence ------------------------------------------
> > Reiserfs is hereby licensed according to the Gnu Public License,
> > but with the following special terms: you may not integrate it
> > into any kernel (or if not added to a kernel, into any software
> > system) which is not also a GPL kernel (software system) without
> > obtaining from Hans Reiser an exception to this license.
> > Along with that exception you will probably also obtain support
> > and customization services, all of it for a fee. In the event
> > that you (or a court) do not accept this interpretation of the
> > GPL, you may choose to not use Reiserfs. I (Hans Reiser) retain
> > all rights to license it as I desire in ways other than this
> > license.
> > Note that it is the policy of Namesys to license its software on
> > reasonable terms which are in accord with the antitrust laws.
> > While one might argue that the GPL violates the antitrust laws,
> > you should contact us and I believe you will find that we are
> > willing to license in accord with those laws.
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------
> > I have not compiled or used reiserfs yet due to licencing
> > confusion.
> > Once again, let me state that the purpose of this email message
> > is to CLARIFY the reiserfs licence terms, and if in fact it is
> > licenced using the GNU General Public Licence V2 or later, to
> > have the relevant text of the file changed to reflect this, and
> > to also include the relevant and required GNU "COPYING" file
> > which contains the full text of the GPL licence.
> > There, now that that is said...
> > The text above from the reiserfs readme file states "Gnu public
> > licence". Strictly speaking - legally - no such licence exists
> > to my knowledge. A court of law would probably not equate "GNU
> > public licence" to be the same as "GNU General Public Licence",
> > and as such I would like to see this clarified if possible.
> > The GPL is referenced later in the statement, which makes me
> > believe that reiserfs is in fact intended to be under the GPL
> > licence. However, the first paragraph goes on to mention what
> > appear to be "further restrictions" which are explicitly
> > prohibited by the GPL licence. Further inspection seems to show
> > that the "restrictions" are not really so - even though worded as
> > such, because any GPL work must remain GPL anyways. So basically
> > the "following special terms" are not necessary to begin with
> > because the GNU GPL allready explicitly forbids inclusion in a
> > non GPL work.
> > One other thing: Hans, et al. are perfectly free to licence
> > their code under any number of different licencing schemes, as
> > stated more or less in the above blurb from the readme. This is
> > perfectly ok, and doesn't in any way muck with GPL issues.
> > What is certainly unclear however is WHAT the EXACT licencing of
> > this filesystem code is, and not in writing that is open to
> > interpretation.
> > Thus, I suggest openly, that to rectify any confusion, and also
> > make things more "legally sound":
> > 1) If reiserfs is in fact licenced under GNU GPL, that the GNU
> > GPL licence file be included with it. This is the "COPYING"
> > file which is available from http://www.gnu.org, or comes with
> > virtually any official GNU software. Lack of inclusion of the
> > actual text of the licence leaves room for legal
> > "assumptions". Don't assume - include the actual licence
> > text explicitly.
> > 2) The GPL licence actually states that the licence text must
> > be included with the code for which is licenced with. In
> > other words, to licence something under GPL, you must include
> > the full text of the licence. Also, any code which is GPL
> > licenced, needs to have text in the source code in comments or
> > whatnot that claims something along the lines "This code is
> > licenced under the GNU GPL licence version 2 or later"...
> > Reference from the GPL:
> > 1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
> > source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you
> > conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an
> > appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep
> > intact all the notices that refer to this License and to the
> > absence of any warranty; and give any other recipients of the
> > Program a copy of this License along with the Program.
> > Also from the GPL:
> > How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs
> > If you develop a new program, and you want it to be of the
> > greatest possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this
> > is to make it free software which everyone can redistribute and
> > change under these terms.
> > To do so, attach the following notices to the program. It is
> > safest to attach them to the start of each source file to most
> > effectively convey the exclusion of warranty; and each file
> > should have at least the "copyright" line and a pointer to where
> > the full notice is found.
> > <one line to give the program's name and a brief idea of what
> > it does.>
> > Copyright (C) 19yy <name of author>
> > This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
> > modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as
> > published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of
> > the License, or (at your option) any later version.
> > This program is distributed in the hope that it will be
> > useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied
> > warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
> > See the GNU General Public License for more details.
> > You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public
> > License along with this program; if not, write to the Free
> > Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA
> > 02111-1307 USA
> > --------------------
> > If the reiserfs code and licencing were modified using the
> > guidelines given directly in the GPL licence document, it would
> > make things much more understandable and "unambiguous".
> > Further licencing of reiserfs code could be included in a
> > "LICENCE" file of sorts. Something like:
> > [LICENCE] This software is hereby licenced under the GNU General
> > Public Licence version 2 or later. Please see the file "COPYING"
> > which should have accompanied this software distribution for
> > details of that licence.
> > Further licencing options are available for commercial and/or
> > other interests directly from the author at: <email address>
> > Well, this is just a suggestion, meant in good - for both
> > reiserfs, and for Linux and GNU as well. I hope that the
> > licence text is updated in a similar way to what I've suggested
> > above, and I hope to soon try out the reiserfs code!
> > Who knows, perhaps we'll even see it in-kernel eventually?
> > Well, take care everyone!
> > TTYL
> > --
> > Mike A. Harris Linux advocate
> > Computer Consultant GNU advocate
> > Capslock Consulting Open Source advocate
> > Join the FreeMWare project - the goal to produce a FREE program in
> > which you can run Windows 95/98/NT, and other operating systems.
> > http://www.freemware.org
> > -
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