Re: GPL Violation?

From: Patrick McFarland
Date: Thu Aug 17 2006 - 03:29:15 EST

On Thursday 17 August 2006 02:54, Arjan van de Ven wrote:
> On Thu, 2006-08-17 at 02:42 -0400, Patrick McFarland wrote:
> > On Thursday 17 August 2006 01:48, Anonymous User wrote:
> > > I work for a company that will be developing an embedded Linux based
> > > consumer electronic device.
> > >
> > > I believe that new kernel modules will be written to support I/O
> > > peripherals and perhaps other things. I don't know the details right
> > > now. What I am trying to do is get an idea of what requirements there
> > > are to make the source code available under the GPL.
> >
> > I am not a lawyer, and I suggest your company speak with one before doing
> > this. (And most likely, someone from the list will correct me if I get
> > something wrong).
> >
> > However, your company only has to release any code they use, preferably
> > in the form of unmodified tarballs (pointing to project websites for
> > downloads isn't valid anymore) plus patches against said unmodified
> > tarballs if modified. If not modified, you still have to release the
> > unmodified tarballs.
> >
> > They don't have to release source code for any module you wrote from
> > scratch themselves, but said modules cannot say they are GPL (ie, they
> > have to poison the kernel).
> Just as a warning: This is your own legal opinion/advice, one which is
> apparently not shared with many other kernel developers, including me.
> For example see Greg's OLS keynote:
> or some of Linus' emails on this topic:
> I hope you have talked to a lawyer about your advice, but I sort of
> doubt it since your answer doesn't sound like something a lawyer will
> tell you (it sure doesn't match what the various lawyers I talked to
> told me, not at all)

Like I told him, he needs to talk to a lawyer. Also, Linus probably won't
agree with me because I said closed source modules are possible. If Linus
wants those to not be possible, then hes going to have to change the
licensing agreement altogether; which, honestly, I wish he would.

Closed source modules are lame, and against the spirit of open source, but
that still doesn't make them against the license.

Patrick McFarland ||
"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids,
we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and
listening to repetitive electronic music." -- Kristian Wilson, Nintendo,
Inc, 1989

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