Re: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?

From: Nick Piggin
Date: Fri Dec 05 2003 - 00:03:35 EST

Peter Chubb wrote:

"Nick" == Nick Piggin <piggin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

Nick> Paul Adams wrote:

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

As far as I know, interfacing to a published API doesn't infringe

So binary modules don't infringe copyright and aren't derived works?
If so then the way to control access to the kernel is to control the
"published API" ie. the api/abi exported modules, and exceptions for
GPL modules are useless. Hmm.


Paul> A standard filter is that you eliminate an element if "The
Paul> element's expression was dictated by external factors, such as
Paul> using an existing file format or interoperating with another
Paul> program." Computer Associates v. Altai specifically discusses
Paul> the need to filter elements related to "compatibility
Paul> requirements of other programs with which a program is designed
Paul> to operate in conjunction." Paul>

If you don't accept this, then maybe you have to start accepting SCO's
claims on JFS, XFS, &c.

Not quite sure what you mean here. As far as I was aware, SCO doesn't
have any copyrights or patents on any code in the Linux Kernel so it is
not a similar situation. I haven't followed the SCO thing closely though.

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