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$NetBSD: README,v 1.1 2010/04/01 14:13:25 reed Exp $ The code within the src/external/gplv3 directories may have serious legal impacts if you are a company and redistributing or changing this code (as a company holding patents). We recommend you contact your lawyer before using it. Please do not import new GPLv3 projects without Board approval. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Statement for The NetBSD Foundation's Position on the GPLv3 NetBSD provides source code with the goal for anyone to be able to use it for whatever they want, as long as they follow the simple licensing terms. Historically, most of the original code used Berkeley-style licensing and NetBSD's own code uses a simple two-clause Berkeley-style license. To summarize: modifications are allowed, the source code may be redistributed and the binaries (or executables) may be distributed as long as the copyright and disclaimer is included. NetBSD's code may be extended and sold without sharing back the source code changes. NetBSD also uses and redistributes source code and binaries from source code obtained from external third parties. This source code is segregated by placing it in the src/external and sys/src/external directories which are categorized per license. Examples of this include: ISC BIND, Solaris ZFS, CVS, GNU Binutils, Postfix, X.org X Windowing System, and other software that are primarily maintained outside of NetBSD. In some cases, the third-party software is licensed under terms that conflict with NetBSD's own goals. For example, the GPLv2 is a "copyleft" license -- it requires that anyone who distributes executable or object code based on the source code, also make the source code and modifications available to the public. (NetBSD's own code doesn't require companies to share their changes.) The GPLv3 (GNU General Public License Version 3) includes clauses that may cause additional burdens to developers or companies who may modify the source code or ship products based on the source code. The following summarizes some of these issues: - The license allows the user to circumvent measures preventing software changes (#3). This is known as the Tivoization clause. In addition, this same clause is an anti-DRM, anti-DMCA clause -- as the developer allows the end-user to attempt to circumvent or break the technological protection measures. Also, any information or authorization keys required to install or run modified versions must also be provided (#6). - The patent clause (#11) says the copyright holders grant a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license. You may be required to extend the royalty-free patent license(s) to all recipients or future users and developers who use the code. In addition, you may not initiate litigation for a patent infringement (#10). We recommend companies redistributing GPLv3 licensed code to consult their lawyer before using it. It is the intent of the NetBSD project to use as little GPL licensed software as possible to provide maximum freedom for development and distribution of NetBSD derived products.