Subject: Re: GPL'ed vs. almost public domain device drivers
From: Jonathan Magid <>
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 12:34:36 -0500 (EST)

On Sat, 20 Dec 1997, Adam J. Richter wrote:

> >Someone in the BSD community claimed that a device driver is more likely to
> >be shared between the BSD community and the Linux community if it originates
> >in the BSD community, because the Linux community will gpl their drivers
> >in most cases, and the bsd community wants to allow proprietary derivatives.
> This would result in Linux having more device drivers, which is the case.

Except that my understanding is that Linus considers the GPL and Berkeley
copyrights incompatible, and prefers not to put Berkeley-licensed source
in the kernel. The reasoning is that the BSD requirement for credit in
advertisements, etc. is contrary to the the GPL requirement that there be
no additional restrictions posed on distribution.

So, to include drivers from either camp in the other's kernel requires a
re-licensing by the author (which happens rather often I think- Linux and
BSD folks seem to work together fairly often).