LWN: The Solaris Trap
Oct 04, 1999, 17:11 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
"Sun has announced that the source code to Solaris - its
proprietary version of Unix - will be released under the "Sun
Community Source License." Much speculation has already happened
regarding the effects that this release will have on Linux, but
much of that overlooks a serious threat posed by this release. By
creating the temptation to incorporate non-free code into parts of
Linux, this release could open up the Linux community to a long and
crippling series of intellectual property fights and lawsuits."
"On the face of it, the release of Solaris seems like a good
thing. Solaris has its faults - nobody is likely to try to emulate
its approach to modems and serial ports, for example - but it also
has a lot of good features. Won't it be great to have all that code
out there in the open?..."
"The problem, however, lies in the Sun Community Source License.
The SCSL is not a free software license. It provides for three
tiers of users, and imposes restrictions on all of them.
Redistribution, in particular, is difficult, and commercial use
requires that licensing fees be paid to Sun. To mix SCSL and GPL
code, in particular, appears to be a violation of both