Like it or not, Theo has a point... freebsd is shipping export-restricted software in the core

Rob Farmer rfarmer at
Thu Oct 7 05:18:49 UTC 2010

On Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 20:38, Gonzalo Nemmi <gnemmi at> wrote:
> As a lawyer, no matter how much I review your set up, it´s a _fact_ that a
> license place in a place like
> /usr/src/sys/contrib/dev/acpica/hardware/hwsleep.c, that is to say, lost
> amongs a gazillion files: _will_ scape any review.
> Furthermore, you can count on legal advise about the thing you tell you
> lawyer to review, but if you ignore _what_ you want to get reviewed: you
> can´t count on anyone knowing it for you.

I would assume that such a review would involve extracting all the
licenses in the source tree, eliminating the duplicates, and having
those reviewed. I'm saying I don't find the "oh I missed that one"
argument convincing, because if there is the possibility of missing a
license, then you aren't looking closely enough in the first place.

This license is not just in
src/sys/contrib/dev/acpica/hardware/hwsleep.c - it is in all the files
within the acpica contrib directory, plus the upstream vendor states
that it applies to the entire tarball on their website. You should
reasonably expect that each piece of software (ie directory) within
contrib may be under a different license and needs to be reviewed.

>> Making the license more visible may be a good idea, but doesn't
>> materially change the situation any.
> It does by making it visible and thus telling potential
> exporters/re-exporters "watch out for this one. Ask your lawyer about it´s
> terms and conditions".

What I meant by "doesn't materially change the situation any" is that
everything exported from the US should be considered under export
restrictions unless proven otherwise. Jung-uk Kim says:

Historically FreeBSD never touched the license header.  However, I am
going to do it next time to avoid confusions.

I don't think this makes a bit of difference (it fact it would be
somewhat misleading) since the export restrictions are a valid law and
dropping clauses from the license doesn't change that - are you saying
I'm wrong here?

Rob Farmer

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