Subject: Re: Opinion on this "license"?
From: Chuck Swiger <>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2006 16:21:56 -0700

On Oct 12, 2006, at 2:56 PM, Gene Smith wrote:
[ ...license text deleted, see the original message in the thread... ]
> This pertains to a kernel driver for a proprietary board. Could  
> this be distributed with other GPL code?

This driver source code could probably be distributed unmodified with  
GPL code, so long as the two remain separate (aka, a "mere  

> I think they are saying you can modify it for your own use but if  
> you distribute it it must remain intact.

Yes.  The license forbids redistributing modified versions of the  

> But then they say you can't distribute it commercially as Share-/ 
> Freeware. What does this mean?

Presumably this means that you can't redistribute the software and  
charge a shareware license fee, resell it commercially or include it  
with a product which is being sold, etc.

> Linux and other programs can be distributed commercially by  
> companies but are not called share/freeware except by the clueless.  
> So what does this mean?

It pretty much means that no Linux, BSD, or other Operating System  
project is going to be willing to redistribute this software.

> Possibly it would be OK to distribute this code unchanged with  
> other GPL files but run patches on it during the build to  
> incorporate any necessary changes in the final program.

Basically, the license means that only the end-user is able to make  
such changes, and if you do integrate this driver into GPL'ed  
software yourself, the resulting derivative software could not be  
redistributed further.