License on the original BSD diff

Clifford Yapp cliffyapp at
Fri May 17 23:49:34 UTC 2013

Looking at the original code for diff:

The licensing that applies to it seems to be simply that of the standard
BSD license:

Is that correct?  If so, what's the relationship between that code and the
diff code currently in openbsd:

The original commit in the openbsd tree by deraadt seems to indicate that
the Caldera license is what made the code usable, but if the diffreg.c file
was in the original BSD 4.4 lite release (diffing the original openBSD
diffreg.c upload with the copy in csrg shows only the BSD header and one
other line as differences) wouldn't the code already have been usable from
the get-go without Caldera's say-so?  The diffreg.c file in csrg shows a
copyright of the Regents of the University of California, and doesn't
mention Caldera at all.

The issue is of some interest because the wiki page documenting candidates
to replace GPL software in base list the OpenBSD copies of the diff tools:  The 4 clause BSD license that comes
with the Caldera copyright is a problem when it comes to mixing and
matching with (L)GPL code, which is one of my possible use cases, so I'm
interested in whether the original diff in csrg can be regarded as licensed
with the standard 3 clause license?  If that is the case, is there a
possibility that the changes made to OpenBSD's version could be re-applied
starting with the 4.4BSD-lite copy as a base rather than the Caldera
version to create a "modern" 3-clause BSD licensed diff?

Apologies if this has been covered before in the process of the SoC
projects, but if it was I haven't turned it up yet - any help appreciated.


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