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SubjectRe: GPL vs non-GPL device drivers
On Thu, Feb 15, 2007 at 04:38:41PM -0800, David Schwartz wrote:
> Just to be perfectly clear, it is an outrageous claim that *every*
> *possible* kernel module must be a derivative work of the kernel. Copyright
> *cannot* protect every possible way to accomplish a particular function (and
> "a Linux driver for the X800 graphics chipset" is a function).

This is just your personal opinion.

"derivative work" is a term with many grey areas.
Does linking create a derivative work?
Or including the code of one "static inline" function in your binary?
There is no border everyone agrees on.

And even judges in different jurisdictions might decide differently
based on different copyright laws.

Perhaps some module would be considered legal in the USA and Russia but
illegal in Germany and China, or the other way round.

> Copyright can
> *only* protect the one possible way you chose to do something out of a large
> number of equally good possible ways. (See, for example, Lexmark v. Static
> Controls where courts held that Static Controls could take Lexmark's TLP
> software because that was the only practical way to make a compatible toner
> cartridge.)

It's always funny seeing people making univeral claims only based on
laws and court cases that have zero relevance for > 95% of all people...

> DS



"Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
"Only a promise," Lao Er said.
Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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