Re: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?

From: Nick Piggin
Date: Thu Dec 04 2003 - 19:28:46 EST

Paul Adams wrote:

--- In linux-kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Linus Torvalds
<torvalds@xxxx> wrote:

- anything that was written with Linux in mind

(whether it then

_also_ works on other operating systems or not) is


partially a derived work.

I am no more a lawyer than you are, but I have to
disagree. You
are not free to define "derivative work" as you
please. You
must use accepted legal definitions. At least in the
U.S., you
must consider what Congress had to say on this. They
said, "to
constitute a violation of section 106(2) [which gives
owners rights over derivative works], the infringing
work must
incorporate a portion of the copyrighted work in some
form; for
example, a detailed commentary on a work or a
programmatic musical
composition inspired by a novel would not normally
infringements under this clause."

A work that is inspired by Linux is no more a
derivative work than
a programmatic musical composition inspired by a
novel. Having
Linux in mind cannot be enough to constitute

Of course not, thought police aren't any good until a mind reader
is invented ;)

What about specifically a module that includes the Linux Kernel's
headers and uses its APIs? I don't think you could say that is
definitely not a derivative work.

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