Re: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?

From: Erik Andersen
Date: Thu Dec 04 2003 - 19:47:57 EST

On Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 03:50:55PM -0800, Paul Adams wrote:
> Unless actual Linux code is incorporated in a binary
> distribution
> in some form, I don't see how you can claim
> infringement of the
> copyright on Linux code, at least in the U.S.

A kernel module is useless without a Linux kernel in which it can
be loaded. Once loaded, it becomes not merely an adjunct, but an
integrat part of the Linux kernel. Further, it clearly
"incorporate[s] a portion of the copyrighted work" since it
can only operate within the context of the kernel by utilizing
Linux kernel function calls.

To abuse your earlier metaphor, a kernel module is not comparable
to a programmatic musical composition inspired by a novel. It is
better comparared with another novel with substantial similarity
in the theme, plot, sequence, settings, mood, dialogue, and
characters, with the same story being told, with trademarked
phrases and taglines, and that makes no sense whatsoever unless
you insert it's entire content over the top of page 450,
paragraph 4 (of the Linux "novel"), and which thereby changes
the ending of the original book...


Erik B. Andersen
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