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SubjectRe: GPL vs non-GPL device drivers
On 2/16/07, Dave Neuer <> wrote:
> On 2/16/07, David Schwartz <> wrote:
> >
> > (See, among other cases, Lexmark. v. Static
> > Controls.) A copyright is not a patent, you can only own something if there
> > are multiple equally good ways to do it and you claim *one* of them.
> Only in a world where "write a Linux module" is a "functional idea." I
> don't think that the legal world in the US is an example of such a
> world, though you clearly do.

"Interface the xyz device to the Linux kernel" is a functional idea in
pretty much the same sense that the Lexmark case involved. You
generally can't copyright functional interfaces; there is a strong
prejudice towards allowing interoperability.

[IANAL and this is, as noted preivously, subject to the winds of
judicial favor.]
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