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Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 08:14:04 -0700
From: Christopher Lane <>
Subject: Re: musl licensing

On Mar 17, 2016 1:18 AM, <> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 07:06:25PM -0700, Christopher Lane wrote:
> > ... if releasing under e.g. BSD0 is OK when PD isn't
> > valid, why isn't it OK for all situations.
> I expect that it is illegal in certain jurisdictions to claim
> copyright on a public domain matter.
> This is not a problem for the musl user (Google) but potentially endangers
> the developer who wrote the questionable copyright statement.
> This may explain why Google explicitly mentions "non-copyrightable" in a
> when it represents the developer party:
> On Wed, Mar 16, 2016 at 11:31:25AM +0100, Szabolcs Nagy wrote:
> > bionic actually generates its kernel interface headers from (gpl) code
> > and each file has the comment:
> >
> >  ***   This header was automatically generated from a Linux kernel
> >  ***   of the same name, to make information necessary for userspace to
> >  ***   call into the kernel available to libc.  It contains only
> >  ***   structures, and macros generated from the original header, and
> >  ***   contains no copyrightable information.
> So this is actually all about which party shall take the risks,
> musl or Google. Isn't it?

This isn't about shoveling risk from Google to musl.  We want musl to be a
clear and unambiguously licensable product so we can use it.  Incidentally,
figuring out the licensing stuff here is a large distraction for our team
(and we knew it would be), but we're willing to put in the time and effort
because we think it's beneficial for the open source community overall, and
because it's ethically correct. This isn't just CYA, and it's not some
nefarious scheme.

WRT bionic, I don't know what they're doing and I don't have any insight
into what went into that decision.  I only know what our team has been told
about using musl.

If it comes down to it, it might be possible for us to avoid using any of
the public domain parts of musl - maybe in a fashion similar to what bionic
did, I don't know yet.  If that's good enough for our lawyers, it'll get
our team unblocked and that's good enough I guess.  Though, I'd prefer we
solve this without such a workaround so others can benefit.

> Rune

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