Re: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?

From: Kendall Bennett
Date: Thu Dec 04 2003 - 21:08:36 EST

Nick Piggin <piggin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> 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.

You cannot copyright an API - people have been down that path before in
the proprietry software community and have not succeeded. You can
copyright the code in the header files, but does simply using the header
files to build a program mean that the driver is now infected? If the
header files include lots and lots of inline functions that ended up
compiled into the code, then maybe.

Then again, it appears that most developers are using wrapped to avoid
this situation, such that their private code does not include any Linux
headers, only the GPL'ed wrapper.

So we go in circles again.


Kendall Bennett
Chief Executive Officer
SciTech Software, Inc.
Phone: (530) 894 8400

~ SciTech SNAP - The future of device driver technology! ~

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