archive mirror
 help / color / mirror / Atom feed
From: Dave Hansen <>
Cc: Dave Hansen <>,,,,,,,
Subject: [PATCH] [v2] Documentation: clarify driver licensing rules
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2020 07:56:25 -0700	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)

From: Dave Hansen <>

Greg has challenged some recent driver submitters on their license
choices. He was correct to do so, as the choices in these instances
did not always advance the aims of the submitters.

But, this left submitters (and the folks who help them pick licenses)
a bit confused. They have read things like
Documentation/process/license-rules.rst which says:

	individual source files can have a different license
	which is required to be compatible with the GPL-2.0

and Documentation/process/submitting-drivers.rst:

	We don't insist on any kind of exclusive GPL licensing,
	and if you wish ... you may well wish to release under
	multiple licenses.

As written, these appear a _bit_ more laissez faire than we've been in
practice lately. It sounds like we at least expect submitters to make
a well-reasoned license choice and to explain their rationale. It does
not appear that we blindly accept anything that is simply

Drivers appear to be the most acute source of misunderstanding, so fix
the driver documentation first. Update it to clarify expectations.

Signed-off-by: Dave Hansen <>
Cc: Dan Williams <>
Cc: H. Peter Anvin <>
Cc: Thomas Gleixner <>
Cc: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>
Cc: Jonathan Corbet <>


Changes from v1:
 * Remove mention of maintainers enforcing particular license
 * Change the wording to ensure that folks understand that the
   trigger that requires an explanation is not multiple
   licenses per se, but non-GPL licenses.  You could argue that
   GPLv2-or-later is multiple liceses, for instance.

 b/Documentation/process/submitting-drivers.rst |    9 +++++----
 1 file changed, 5 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)

diff -puN Documentation/process/submitting-drivers.rst~clarify-dual-licensing Documentation/process/submitting-drivers.rst
--- a/Documentation/process/submitting-drivers.rst~clarify-dual-licensing	2020-08-14 07:42:06.300480229 -0700
+++ b/Documentation/process/submitting-drivers.rst	2020-08-14 07:53:10.373478573 -0700
@@ -60,10 +60,11 @@ What Criteria Determine Acceptance
 		The code must be released to us under the
-		GNU General Public License. We don't insist on any kind
-		of exclusive GPL licensing, and if you wish the driver
-		to be useful to other communities such as BSD you may well
-		wish to release under multiple licenses.
+		GNU General Public License. If you wish the driver to be
+		useful to other communities such as BSD you may release
+		under multiple licenses. If you choose to release under
+		licenses other than the GPL, you should include your
+		rationale for your license choices in your cover letter.
 		See accepted licenses at include/linux/module.h

             reply	other threads:[~2020-08-14 15:02 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 4+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2020-08-14 14:56 Dave Hansen [this message]
2020-08-17 15:48 ` [PATCH] [v2] Documentation: clarify driver licensing rules Greg KH
2020-08-31 22:37 ` Jonathan Corbet
2020-08-31 23:03 ` H. Peter Anvin

Reply instructions:

You may reply publicly to this message via plain-text email
using any one of the following methods:

* Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client,
  and reply-to-all from there: mbox

  Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting:

* Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to
  switches of git-send-email(1):

  git send-email \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \ \

* If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header
  via mailto: links, try the mailto: link
Be sure your reply has a Subject: header at the top and a blank line before the message body.
This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions
for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox;
as well as URLs for NNTP newsgroup(s).