[Freedom-misc] Re : Excellent interview with Hyperbola co-founder on why they are making a libre BSD kernel, and other stuff

lcerf at dcc.ufmg.br lcerf at dcc.ufmg.br
Sat Mar 7 18:26:08 CET 2020


the interest in allowing Rust modules into the kernel are a problem for us,  
due to Rust trademark restrictions which prevent us from applying patches in  
our distribution without express permission.

That makes no sense to me.  Trademarks policies only apply when one uses  
something that identifies a product (its name, its logo, etc.).  As far as I  
know, the Linux project does not plan to change the name of the kernel for  
RustyLinux (or something similar) and the code written in Rust would  
necessarily be under the GNU GPL, granting the same freedoms (including  
modification and redistribution) to its users as the rest of the kernel.

Even if Linux was renamed RustyLiux (maybe after asking permission to the  
Rust team) and would adopt the same trademark policy as Rust, it would still  
be under the GNU GPL and any developer could distribute a patched version  
under another name.  Exactly as Trisquel does with Firefox that becomes  
Abrowser.

"around 20% in the OpenBSD kernel and userspace [are currently non-free]"

It is not what Andre said.  That would be wrong.  He said "around 20% in the  
OpenBSD kernel and userspace [are not GPL compatible or non-free]" and  
complements: "Mostly, the non-GPL compatible licensed parts are under the  
Original BSD license, sometimes called the “4-clause BSD license”".  It  
is indeed incompatible with the GPL.  But it is a free software license  
anyway.

Rewriting much free software so that it becomes GPL-compatible looks like a a  
lot of work (done without the help of BSD developers, since the stated goal  
is "future development under GPLv3 and LGPLv3", i.e., developments that the  
BSD projects would not profit from).  That effort could be put elsewhere.   
Anyway, the HyperbolaBSD project is a free software project: I wish it  
success.


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