RE: GPL vs non-GPL device drivers
From: David Schwartz
Date: Mon Feb 19 2007 - 12:54:26 EST
> On Saturday 17 February 2007 15:19, David Schwartz wrote:
> > Static Controls argued that taking the TLP was the only practical way to
> > make a cartridge that would work with that printer.
> Which shows how that case is different from writing Linux drivers. For
> example, looking at the example the OP was himself proposing a few
> alternative approaches to work around the limitation they were hitting:
> could just switch to static major/minors instead of dynamics ones, they
> could skip sysfs, or they could even reimplement something like sysfs
> themselves, or whatever other interface they deem useful for the
> purpose of
> plopping in their own binary blob on top of it, sort of like what nVidia
> and ATi do for their stuff.
These are all different functional ideas.
It is no response to an argument like this to say, "you could always express
a different idea". Copyright only protects the one way the author chose to
express an idea. You should not ever need to change an idea to get around
I hate to sound like a broken record, but have you read Lexmark v. Static
Controls? There was a section where they talked about how perhaps you could
have used a different algorithm to measure the toner level.
You may have to change your idea to get around a patent, but you should
never, ever have to change a functional idea to get around a copyright.
Do you realize that you are arguing for software patents? And worse, for
patents that are easy to get (and last as long) as copyrights.
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html
Please read the FAQ at http://www.tux.org/lkml/