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    SubjectRe: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?

    Linus,

    So basically anyone in the past-present-future who worked on-with-about
    the linux kernel is now tainted forever. Get real Linus, that would mean
    everyone would have to segment their brain and it will not happen.

    The statement that something load means you have applied standard fair use
    of the api's described in the manual. Since you refuse to set a standard
    document to become the manual, the source code itself is the manual.

    Like it or not, your position to force people to read the source code or
    read "Linux Kernel Internals", "Linux Device Drivers 1 & 2", and/or any
    other web content from the internet make the kernel a periodical
    reference. Now that it is a reference, the ideas can be extracted and
    used however and where ever. The simple fact there are books with ISBN
    which are verbatium printout of the kernel source for a given snap shot in
    time, well the ideas are freed and the actual document is an empty shell!

    Thus case law supports fair use and defines the unprotectable API.
    Since the headers are the effective API, the are not copyright protected.
    They can not, do not, and never will be a means test for "derivative
    works". Clear lines of derivatives if the headers are such, then
    everything running in the in user space is a derivative.

    Kernel headers provide the mappings to the compilers and libraries.
    The libraries and headers in user space will dirty any applications.
    Simple proof, rm -rf /usr/include/linux and /usr/include/asm.
    Try to build any application and it will bomb in most cases.

    So if modules are derived works then so is all of user space.
    Then again, the linux kernel is an integration of ideas and no longer
    could stand on its own with out all the contributions.

    Linux == the sum of the drivers ?
    The drivers are derivatives of Linux ?

    Copyright License is such a JOKE, I really wish you would do a Michael
    Jackson (the white glove grab) and find a way to switch by force to a
    better license model.

    OSL 1 and 2 are a preferred choice as they are slowly creaping into the
    kernel. The beauty and pain of OSL is that SCO would be a NOOP. The
    requirement imposed on the contributing author to indemnify (sp really
    bad) the changes/patches to the codebase core, makes it a better world.
    In short code sets of questionable origin are the liabities of the author
    and not the community.

    I know, everyone is going to flame me, Dave Miller is going to kick me off
    lkml and whippity flip. The majority of the meatballs here do not have
    Lawyers nor could they afford them. So it comes down to those who have
    and those who do not. The haves will anyway crush those who don't.

    Well this should be enough bait to get it going. It is chilly here in
    California tonight and a little warmth from electrons heat would be good.

    Cheers,

    Andre Hedrick
    LAD Storage Consulting Group

    PS sorry for the fragmented thoughts it is late.

    On Thu, 4 Dec 2003, Linus Torvalds wrote:

    >
    >
    > On Thu, 4 Dec 2003, Paul Adams wrote:
    > >
    > > A work that is inspired by Linux is no more a derivative work than
    > > a programmatic musical composition inspired by a novel. Having
    > > Linux in mind cannot be enough to constitute infringement.
    >
    > But it does - you have to include the Linux header files in order to be
    > able to make any nontrivial module.
    >
    > I'm not claiming that "thinking about Linux makes you tainted". It's not
    > about inspiration. But it's a bit like getting somebody pregnant: you have
    > to do a lot more than just think about it to actually make it happen, or
    > every high school in the world would be crawling with babies.
    >
    > In other words: feel free to be inspired by Linux all you want. But if you
    > release a binary module that loads and works, you've been doing more than
    > just feeling inspired. And then you need to be _careful_.
    >
    > Linus
    > -
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