Virally licensed code in FreeBSD kernel

Bill Moran wmoran at
Sat Apr 14 16:12:07 UTC 2007

On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 09:51:23 -0600
Brett Glass <brett at> wrote:

> There is a huge problem in that the CDDL is "viral." It "infects"
> products with which it is combined. You can read the text of the
> CDDL at
> Section 3.1 of the CDDL is the portion which is essentially equivalent
> to the GPL. 
> This is part of the nastiness of viral licenses.

How is this any worse than the GPLed stuff in /usr/src/contrib?

I agree that the CDDL has a viral nature, but the BSD community has been
able to work within that framework for years with the GPL without having
it "infect" anything else.  A kernel module is no different.

> --Brett Glass
> At 07:06 AM 4/14/2007, Philipp Wuensche wrote:
> >Brett Glass wrote:
> >> I just read with some concern the announcement that Sun's ZFS has been
> >> integrated into the FreeBSD kernel. This would mean, unfortunately, that
> >> FreeBSD is now covered by the CDDL, which is a viral license similar to
> >> the GPL. Has FreeBSD abandoned its longstanding practice of keeping the
> >> kernel truly free?
> >
> >Maybe this blog entry brings some light:
> >
> >
> >I don't see a problem. If you use CDDL licensed stuff like ZFS, you need
> >to provide the source, thats it.
> >
> >greetigns,
> >philipp
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Bill Moran
Potential Technologies

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