how much license information inside the kernel ? - Kernel

This is a discussion on how much license information inside the kernel ? - Kernel ; hi, i found that there is a LOT of repeating licensing information in the kernel. for me, find ./linux-2.6.27 -type f -exec cat {} \; |egrep "free software|GNU General Public License|Free Software Foundation|version 2 of the License|distributed in the hope|WITHOUT ...

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Thread: how much license information inside the kernel ?

  1. how much license information inside the kernel ?

    hi,

    i found that there is a LOT of repeating licensing information in the kernel.

    for me,

    find ./linux-2.6.27 -type f -exec cat {} \; |egrep "free software|GNU General Public License|Free Software Foundation|version 2 of the License|distributed in the hope|WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY|FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR"

    gives a file sized ~3.5M

    That`s more than 1% of the kernel source.

    What about the idea to shorten that licening information to a minimum , e.g. by shrinking that to a single, catchy line , linking to a special licensing file like COPYING or linking to the FSF website ?

    please no flames, i know this idea could be pure dynamite for some people - but i thought 3.5M is worth this mail.

    regards
    roland

    ps:
    i`m not sure if that has been discussed already, but i didn`t find that in the archive. please ignore, otherwise.
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  2. Re: how much license information inside the kernel ?

    On Thu, 30 October 2008 11:54:57 +0100, devzero@web.de wrote:
    >
    > i found that there is a LOT of repeating licensing information in the kernel.
    >
    > for me,
    >
    > find ./linux-2.6.27 -type f -exec cat {} \; |egrep "free software|GNU General Public License|Free Software Foundation|version 2 of the License|distributed in the hope|WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY|FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR"
    >
    > gives a file sized ~3.5M
    >
    > That`s more than 1% of the kernel source.


    Scary, isn't it?

    One of the problems is that corporate lawyers require the full GPL
    preample in any source file. As a result, a lot of developers inside
    companies cannot publish code without it. Whether that makes any sense
    is anyone's guess. But it doesn't cause much harm either, so better
    leave the bloat where it is.

    Jörn

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  3. Re: how much license information inside the kernel ?

    devzero@web.de wrote:
    > hi,
    >
    > i found that there is a LOT of repeating licensing information in the
    > kernel.
    >
    > for me,
    >
    > find ./linux-2.6.27 -type f -exec cat {} \; |egrep "free software|GNU
    > General Public License|Free Software Foundation|version 2 of the
    > License|distributed in the hope|WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY|FITNESS FOR A
    > PARTICULAR"
    >
    > gives a file sized ~3.5M
    >
    > That`s more than 1% of the kernel source.
    >
    > What about the idea to shorten that licening information to a minimum
    > , e.g. by shrinking that to a single, catchy line , linking to a
    > special licensing file like COPYING or linking to the FSF website ?
    >
    > please no flames, i know this idea could be pure dynamite for some
    > people - but i thought 3.5M is worth this mail.
    >
    > regards roland
    >
    > ps: i`m not sure if that has been discussed already, but i didn`t
    > find that in the archive. please ignore, otherwise.


    It may be 3.5 MB uncompressed, but disk space is cheap, and repeated
    strings compress extremely well to save bandwidth. If you work with the
    kernel source enough for this to be an issue, you should use git.
    You'll download these license headers once, and never again unless the
    copyright info gets changed by a patch. From a technical perspective,
    the problem isn't nearly as bad as it looks, and it keeps the lawyers
    happy, so it's really not worth messing with. There's plenty of
    lower-hanging fruit in unifying drivers for similar hardware, unifying
    32-bit and 64-bit architectures, and other things that make the code
    more maintainable.

    -- Chris
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  4. Re: how much license information inside the kernel ?

    On Thu 2008-10-30 11:54:57, devzero@web.de wrote:
    > hi,
    >
    > i found that there is a LOT of repeating licensing information in the kernel.
    >
    > for me,
    >
    > find ./linux-2.6.27 -type f -exec cat {} \; |egrep "free software|GNU General Public License|Free Software Foundation|version 2 of the License|distributed in the hope|WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY|FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR"
    >
    > gives a file sized ~3.5M


    Now gzip it :-).

    Pavel
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