Gentoo/FreeBSD: license problems require a development pause

*Edit: Timothy (drizzt) found us the escape route. Applying we can legally drop the clause 3 of 4-clause BSD license, and be done with it. I’m writing in this moment the code to do this, but it might require a new stage to come out. Anyway, the problem is solved, and I think I’ll mail FSF for them to actually put that note somewhere, as it doesn’t seem to be that documented around here.*

This is a very sad blog by my side, although I hope this can be cleared up soon so that I don’t have to be this sad anymore in the future.

Basically, the public Gentoo/FreeBSD development is officially halted starting tonight, as there are some license issues between libkvm and start-stop-daemon .

libkvm is a userspace interface to FreeBSD kernel, and it’s licensed under the original BSD license, BSD-4 if you want, the one with the nasty advertising clause . For this reason, until I can clear this problem up, the stages are pulled off from the mirrors, and won’t be put there in the mean time.

s-s-d is not the only GPL-released package that links to libkvm actually, GDB does it, too, but I think that on the GPL part, we’re fine with the license, as it’s a library that comes with the operating system, the problem is that we don’t abide to the advertising clause (and we’ll probably never be able to do so) and thus I don’t think we’re allowed to redistribute binaries.

I’ve mailed David O’Brien, who maintains the devel/gdb6 port for FreeBSD, hoping that he knows more than me about these interactions, in the mean time, I consider the public development of Gentoo/FreeBSD halted. This does not mean that I won’t continue working on it, but we cannot currently redistribute it.

Bear with us until we can find a solution. If we cannot link libkvm, I’m ready to try cleanrooming it into a MIT-licensed library.