Re: GPL Violation?

From: Neil Brown
Date: Thu Aug 17 2006 - 07:46:33 EST

On Thursday August 17, alan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> Ar Iau, 2006-08-17 am 05:36 -0400, ysgrifennodd Patrick McFarland:
> > > If a driver author doesn't want
> > > to publish under the terms of GPL, an implementation in userspace may
> > > make it possible to avoid linking with GPL code.
> >
> > But doesn't that force the GPL code to rely on closed source code, and not
> > function properly without it? I remember a part in the GPL about not allowing
> > that, but I can't seem to find it atm.
> It shouldn't generally be a grey area but that is why the Linux kernel
> has always had this clarification in COPYING about the interpretation
> NOTE! This copyright does *not* cover user programs that use kernel
> services by normal system calls - this is merely considered normal use
> of the kernel, and does *not* fall under the heading of "derived work".
> Also note that the GPL below is copyrighted by the Free Software
> Foundation, but the instance of code that it refers to (the Linux
> kernel) is copyrighted by me and others who actually wrote it.

Hmmm. I wonder what "normal" system calls are. And how they contrast
to "abnormal" system calls, which presumably aren't covered by the
above note.
I wonder if reading and writing to files in /sys and /proc are
'normal' in this context or not. Certainly I think that non-standard
ioctls could be considered to abnormal.

I guess that's one for the lawyers :-)

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