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SubjectRE: Can't use SYSFS for "Proprietry" driver modules !!!.

> On Tue, Mar 29, 2005 at 11:00:30AM -0800, David Schwartz wrote:

> > Since the GPL permits their removal, removing them cannot
> > be circumventing
> > the GPL. Since the GPL is the only license and the license
> > permits you to
> > remove them, they cannot be a license enforcement mechanism. How can you
> > enforce a license that permits unrestricted functional modification?

> You misunderstand totally the EXPORT_GPL system.

No, I understand it perfectly.

> It does not mean
> "this is a technological system to prevent you to use it with non-gpl
> compatible code".

Right, which is precisely what I said. They are not a license enforcement

> It means "The author of that code consider that
> using this function makes your code so linux-specific that it must be
> a derivative work of the code implementing the function, so if you use
> it from non gpl-compatible code you'll be sued. And since he's nice,
> he uses a technical method to prevent you from doing such a copyright
> violation by mistake.".

If the author of the code is not a lawyer, his opinion about what does or
does not constitute a derived work should really not be of any interest. I
do agree that this is much closer to an accurate understandinf of EXPORT_GPL
than that it's a license enforcement mechanism.

> See the subtle difference? EXPORT_GPL is here to _help_ proprietary
> driver authors. Your lawyers should _love_ it and skin you alive if
> you try to get around it.

Why would any competent lawyer perfer the opinion of a layperson on a
purely legal matter over his own opinion? That's totally absurd.

In any event, I wasn't talking about what EXPORT_GPL is, just about what it
isn't. And you seem to agree with me that it's not a license enforcement
mechanism and that you're not violating the GPL if you remove it and
distribute the results.

I hope you would further agree that the legality of distributing code not
under the GPL that uses EXPORT_GPL symbols hinges on whether the works
distributed actually *are* derivative works of the covered works and not on
the author's opinion. Neither the authors of GPL'd works nor the GPL can set
out the scope of the GPL's authority -- that comes from copyright law.


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