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Date:	Mon, 16 May 2016 10:46:17 -0700
From:	Linus Torvalds <>
To:	Doug Ledford <>
Cc:	Christoph Hellwig <>,
	Linux Kernel Mailing List <>
Subject: Re: CQ and RDMA READ/WRITE APIs

On Mon, May 16, 2016 at 7:51 AM, Doug Ledford <> wrote:
> The linux kernel as a whole is, but individual files still retain their
> separate copyright, they don't loose it just because they are shipped as
> part of the larger kernel.

.. they do lose it if they have GPL'd code merged into them.

We do generally try pretty hard to respect dual licensing, though,
just to make it easy to keep drivers that are intentionally shared
with other projects still sharable.

That said, that is only true for individual drivers that started out
that way. I missed the first part of the private discussion, but "new
files into the subsystem" does not sound like that case, and them
being GPL-only is pretty much the norm. That is particularly true if
that new code came from other places in the kernel (or other GPLv2
projects), where we don't even have a choice.

In other words:

 - I _do_ heavily prefer that we keep dual-licensed drivers
dual-licensed. It's not a _legal_ requirement, but it's certainly a
matter of being polite.

   If the original author of a driver dual-licensed it (or licensed it
under something like a two-clause BSD license that can be converted to
GPLv2), it's just bad form to ignore that original license.

 - the dual-license thing is _particularly_ true if the other license
is actively used by developers who actually give back. If it's some
kind of "we want to keep it dual-licensed without helping maintain
it", I honestly don't give a shit any more.

   IOW, if the people doing all the heavy lifting work on a particular
file are GPL-only, then at that point there is nobody to be polite to
any more.

Not knowing the details, I have a hard time making any sane judgement call.


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