Re: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?

From: David Dyck
Date: Fri Dec 05 2003 - 12:09:03 EST

On Fri, 5 Dec 2003 at 07:06 -0800, Jesse Pollard <jesse@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

> Quite simple. If you include the Linux kernel include files you get a derived
> program that must be released under GPL if you distribute that program.

When I first read this out out of context, I wondered if you were saying
that any executable that I write on my libc5 linux system (and those that
were compiled on libc5 systems long ago - like my copy of Adobe acrobat,
and RealNetworks real audio) must have been distributed under GPL?

[ Please recall that the kernel header files were included in users
programs (since /usr/include/asm and /usr/include/linux were symlinks
into the kernel sources) and common include files like dirent.h,
errno.h, and signal.h. This still works with libc5 and todays
Linux 2.4.23. ]

You must not be saying that, since Linus said:

"There's a clarification that user-space programs that use the standard
system call interfaces aren't considered derived works, but even that
isn't an "exception" - it's just a statement of a border of what is
clearly considered a "derived work". User programs are _clearly_
not derived works of the kernel, and as such whatever the kernel
license is just doesn't matter."

And after re-reading more of the thread, you must be refering to modules
that include kernel include files, right?


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