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    SubjectRE: GPL vs non-GPL device drivers

    > 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.


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