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SubjectRe: Fwd: Copyright infringement in linux/drivers/usb/serial/keyspan*fw.h
On Fri, 25 May 2001, Adam J. Richter wrote:
> Larry McVoy wrote:
> >On Fri, May 25, 2001 at 07:34:57PM -0700, Adam J. Richter wrote:

> >It's also about the concept of boundaries - if you think that that
> >concept is not a legal one then why aren't all programs which are run
> >on top of a GPLed kernel then GPLed?
>
> Apparently Linus felt that that was a sufficiently
> plausible gray area that he addressed it explicitly in
> /usr/src/linux/COPYING:
>
> | 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.

Note the "derived work"; there is no way on this earth (or any other) that
you could regard the device's firmware as being a "derived work" of the
driver! AFAICS, the firmware is just a file served up to the device as
needed - no more a derivative work from the kernel than my homepage is a
derivative work of Apache.


James.

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