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SFC Considers Combining ZFS With Linux A GPL Violation

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  • SFC Considers Combining ZFS With Linux A GPL Violation

    Phoronix: SFC Considers Combining ZFS With Linux A GPL Violation

    The Software Freedom Conservancy has opined today that Canonical's inclusion of the ZFS file-system module into their Linux kernel for Ubuntu 16.04 is a violation of the GPL...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...-GPL-ZFS-Linux

  • #2
    Isn't the kernel LGPL to begin with? And the Canonical guys have a pretty good point.

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    • #3
      "As such, we again ask Oracle to respect community norms against license proliferation and simply relicense its copyrights in ZFS under a GPLv2-compatible license."

      So its just a Piss-Contest of which Licence is the best. And again the users and Distributions are the ones paying the bill.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Daktyl198 View Post
        Isn't the kernel LGPL to begin with? And the Canonical guys have a pretty good point.
        LGPL, huh? Linux is mostly GPLv2.

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        • #5
          I guess Canonical is betting that nobody will sue them for that GPL violation, because hey, it's all open source.

          Linux is mostly GPL v2, but also some parts are "GPL v2 or later", BSD, LGPL, and even a few non-free licenses for firmware that still exists inside the kernel tree.

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          • #6
            the zfs in ubuntu is in kernel or a extra module?

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            • #7
              Canonical is kinda arrogant to think they know better than all the other commercial Linux distributions who consider ZFS' licence to be incompatible with the Linux kernel's licence. It'd serve them well if they get sued...

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              • #8
                When you distribute GPL licensed code, the license is written - intentionally - to make the entire combined work GPL.

                So the Linux kernel, as distributed pretty much everywhere, is always GPLv2 licensed. Individual parts in source form may be under GPL compatible permissive licenses, but the whole thing is always GPLv2, which is never compatible with GPLv3, LGPLv3, AGPLv3, any proprietary license, the CDDL, or several other licenses - because the terms of all these licenses is always to prevent the imposition of additional terms - that could nullify software freedoms - in combined works.

                It is worth mentioning that, technically, linking proprietary kernel modules to the GPLv2 kernel is always a license violation, but it would take a kernel contributor who has copyright on some of the code being violated to actually start suing offending companies. Which does mean Nvidia is always violating the kernel license with nvidia.ko, as are Broadcom... ARM... Qualcomm... Samsung... etc.
                Last edited by zanny; 02-25-2016, 03:08 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by zanny View Post
                  It is worth mentioning that, technically, linking proprietary kernel modules to the GPLv2 kernel is always a license violation, but it would take a kernel contributor who has copyright on some of the code being violated to actually start suing offending companies. Which does mean Nvidia is always violating the kernel license with nvidia.ko, as are Broadcom... ARM... Qualcomm... Samsung... etc.
                  Hah, and nvidia.ko is not open source in any meaning of the word, while ZFS is open source, although intentionally made incompatible with GPL. I recon Conservancy should better go after nVidia rather than limit choice of open source filesystems in Linux.

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                  • #10
                    C'mon, AFAIK distribution of — for example — a game which is linked against GPL libraries is never a violation, because the libraries distributed in some sense separately, and the company could easily give a code for those libraries. So, what the difference in situation with kernel and modules from a game with libraries?

                    UPD: Ah, I confused LGPL with just GPL — the last doesn't allow linking with proprietary licenses.
                    Last edited by Hi-Angel; 02-25-2016, 03:55 PM.

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