Re: Linux 2.6.9 and the GPL Buyout

From: Horst von Brand
Date: Tue Dec 21 2004 - 07:35:50 EST

"Jeff V. Merkey" <jmerkey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> said:
> This is the final post on this particular thread. I said I would
> reveal to LKML the purpose behind this original proposal when the time
> was right. The GPL buyout offer has now expired and is formally closed,
> now is the time to explian.

Thanks for the end.

> The purpose behind the buyout was to convert as much Linux code over as
> possible to another open source operating system project which is
> sponsored at This project is hosted by the Cherokee
> Nation and is sovereign under US Federal Laws. This project is merging
> the Linux Kernel with the Open Source NetWare project and distributing
> the operating system. The site is operational and the full code
> repository will be posted with the merged operating system after the
> Cherokee Nation Public License is published in January. Anyone who
> wishes to participate can email the site and get an account.

Right. But the Cherokee Nation would have to be recognized, and it would
have to adhere to the Berne Convention and a lot of other stuff for this to
make any kind of difference. Plus they would need the international clout
to make their decisions stick. I.e., it won't help a bit.

What is wrong with GPL for the kernel? That could be a useful discussion
(just not here, please). Also note that some 80% of OSS is under GPL/LPGL,
so staying compatible with those licenses is very important on its own

What is wrong with starting with the *BSDs for the merged OS, if GPL won't
do for some weird reason?

Besides, had you asked politely if the LKML crowd would consider a change
in license to the kernel _for a purpose like you say here_, and _coherent_
reasons for a change in license, there would have been quite a bit more
receptiveness. But, as the kernel has thousands of contributors whose work
is _very_ difficult to separate (probably more than just building the whole
shebang from scratch), the point is moot anyway.


> We are adopting Federal Copyright and Trademark law, and Federal Patent
> law into our courts. We are also enacting trade secret laws that make it
> easier for folks to claim trade secrets on Open Source code for
> individual authors.

Good luck with "secrets" that are shared the world over. I somehow doubt
that will go over well in other jurisdictions in the US. Not to mention
that "trade secrets" just aren't protected as such in other parts of the
world (here I could get sued for, say, breaking and entering and/or not
honoring the contract with my employer, but not for publishing a trade

IANAL, anyway.
Dr. Horst H. von Brand User #22616
Departamento de Informatica Fono: +56 32 654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria +56 32 654239
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