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Date:      Tue, 16 Jun 2020 11:32:47 +0200
From:      Polytropon <>
To:        Ottavio Caruso <>
Cc:        Ottavio Caruso via freebsd-questions <>
Subject:   Re: question about the copyright
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <>

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On Tue, 16 Jun 2020 09:34:26 +0100, Ottavio Caruso via freebsd-questions wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Jun 2020 at 08:27, Warren Hua <> wrote:
> >
> > Hello
> >
> > I read through this guide:
> >
> >
> > but I am not sure, if I add one or more customized modules (written or
> > modified by ourselves) to freebsd kernel, and sell the biz service based
> > on this freebsd hosting, does it break the copyright?
> >
> Adding modules and then selling the product is not a problem in
> itself. The problem is: what licence so you want to attach to the new
> product? For example, if you did that to the Linux kernel, your only
> option would be to distribute the new kernel under the GPLv2. I can
> only guess that you could make a proprietary product out of FreeBSD
> just by  adhering to condition 1 and 2 of the above mentioned licence.
> Or, even better, you can sell the product under the FreeBSD licence.

That is also my understanding, not being a lawyer. And in
reality, you will actually find products incuding software
derived from FreeBSD ("taken for free") being sold. The
BSD License explicitely allows this kind of use.

However, do not confuse licensing with copyright! Because
you can take FreeBSD as a foundation for your own product,
it does _not_ change the copyright of FreeBSD, i. e., those
who "made" FreeBSD cannot be deprived of that property; you
cannot remove the FreeBSD copyright notice and put your
company's there instead. See #1 and #2 "must"s of the
licensing terms which makes it clear that copyright does
_not_ change, and the notice thereof has to be kept.

Similarly, for everything _you_ write, the copyright is
yours (as the "maker"), and you can choose licensing terms
regarding the use and distribution of what you made. Not
providing the source code is absolutely possible.

Still I second the advice to consult a lawyer if you really
want to be sure. There might (!) be specific laws and
regulation that apply in your country or juristiction.

And always remember: "Two lawyers, three opinions." ;-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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