Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Debating Continues Over Possible Kernel GPL Violation

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    Originally posted by ryao View Post
    Dave, the act of linking does not violate the GPL. The act of distributing something that is linked does. Also, could you define what linking means in this context? As far as I have seen, nothing anyone would associate with a traditional linker seems to be done against the kernel binary until the module is loaded.

    I would also appreciate it if you would explain how we have an uproar concerning this particular vendor when we have heard relatively little complaint about the numerous other vendors that have been doing this far longer. To cite a specific example, anyone shipping Linux devices using broadcom hardware. If you would prefer, you could talk about this in the context of graphics. There are plenty of Android devices out there with binary graphics drivers being shipped with the kernel. Why is there no uproar over that? Are they not in violation?
    Yeah I was only trying to show people why nvidia don't get sued (not distributing a linked object), they actually don't distribute any objects build with kernel headers, they have the user build the files that touch the kernel headers locally. When some distros tried to bypass this and ship a kernel and the final linked nvidia binary, they got told to stop. So yes distributing a linked thing is what triggers the GPL violation. Exactly what consitutes linking is also a bit of lawyer consulation. Currently accepted theory is that creating a kernel module you can load into a running kernel is linking it, again good lawyers might get judges to see things another way.

    So the thing is yes there are lots of GPL violators out there, but not as bad as you imply. You'd be surprised how many of the android graphics stacks have fully open source kernel drivers, even if they aren't upstream, they are still released under the GPL, and there are a lot of people doing GPL violation works with those companies in secret.

    The reason this one is bigger is (a) it was on lkml, (b) the company alleged to violate also happen to maintain a GPL fork of their code, (c) the company in question stonewalled any polite inquiries in private, (d) it was on lkml. (d) it got into phoronix.

    Generally with GPL violations the organisation doing the investigation and the organisation doing the violatiing, talk in private a lot first, and some agreement is hammered out, occasionally it goes to court.

    At a guess this one will probably go into the background, until

    one of:
    a) some rights holder decides to pursue it, whether that be SFLC, Red Hat, or anyone else who holds kernel copyrights
    b) the company just releases the source to the bits they didn't before.

    Dave.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Syke View Post
      Exactly. They wrote a Linux kernel module and are distributing a Linux kernel with said module. It doesn't matter where the copyright resides, the module became GPL-licensed when they distributed a Linux-derived work.
      They distributed compiled version of kernel with the module linked in?!

      Are they stupid or what!?

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by ryao View Post
        http://opensource.apple.com/

        You can also find commits from Apple employees in Clang, CUPS, LLVM, Xorg, WebKit, etcetera. These might not be things that you appreciate, but they do exist and other people do appreciate them. I notice that Dave Airlie is on the forums. You could always ask him about Apple's contributions to Xorg. Of course, that assumes that you actually use Xorg. If you do not, I could understand why you would not care.
        I stand corrected.

        I assumed that the hostility to FLOSS, displayed most prominently in AppStore cases, was intrinsic to the whole company. Now I can't say there are no contributions, I'll have to say there are no significant contributions ;-)

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Syke View Post
          Exactly. They wrote a Linux kernel module and are distributing a Linux kernel with said module. It doesn't matter where the copyright resides, the module became GPL-licensed when they distributed a Linux-derived work.
          The module DID NOT become GPL-licensed, this is a part of the anti-GPL "viral" FUD. You can't relicense other people's code.

          What happened is that they violated the GPL at the moment they shipped a combined work which included GPL software. Their options at that point are:

          - Stop distributing the thing immediately and lose the right to distribute GPL software in the future, or
          - GPL the code they distributed

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
            The module DID NOT become GPL-licensed, this is a part of the anti-GPL "viral" FUD. You can't relicense other people's code.
            I had to read this 5 times or so to understand what you are talking about. Simply put, Syke worded it a bit ambiguously and he actually meant "It doesn't matter where the copyright resides, the module must become GPL-licensed when they distribute a Linux-derived work, or else they violate the GPL." No need to make a fuss like that, this is not FUD. Also, there was no relicensing of others' code mentioned anywhere - the module is theirs.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
              I had to read this 5 times or so to understand what you are talking about. Simply put, Syke worded it a bit ambiguously and he actually meant "It doesn't matter where the copyright resides, the module must become GPL-licensed when they distribute a Linux-derived work, or else they violate the GPL." No need to make a fuss like that, this is not FUD. Also, there was no relicensing of others' code mentioned anywhere - the module is theirs.
              Some people believe that their code will become automatically GPL licensed if they touch GPL software. I don't know how Syke meant it, but Microsoft and others have been running a FUD campaign about "viral" GPL relicensing your code for many years now.

              If you violate the GPL, you have violated the GPL, that's it. Your code does not become GPL automatically. Even many OSS advocates sadly get this wrong.

              Perhaps Syke meant it differently, but it's important to fight the "viral" FUD.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                If you violate the GPL, you have violated the GPL, that's it. Your code does not become GPL automatically. Even many OSS advocates sadly get this wrong.
                Yeah, I violate GPL, let them sue me.
                Maybe you get those OSS advocates wrong?

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by LightBit View Post
                  Yeah, I violate GPL, let them sue me.
                  My point is that you're the only one who can change the license of your code. Period.

                  My point is not that GPL violation should be encouraged.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by tomato View Post
                    I stand corrected.

                    I assumed that the hostility to FLOSS, displayed most prominently in AppStore cases, was intrinsic to the whole company
                    Actually it's the GPL's hostility to DRM that prevents it being published. Other FLOSS licenses don't have a problem with it.


                    Now I can't say there are no contributions, I'll have to say there are no significant contributions ;-)
                    I would say with items like Chrome taking a majority of the browser marketshare and cups being the defacto printing system of choice for non-windows machines there are a lot that would disagree.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                      I would say with items like Chrome taking a majority of the browser marketshare and cups being the defacto printing system of choice for non-windows machines there are a lot that would disagree.
                      Except Apple didn't invent Webkit, they used it from KDE and slowly merged changes back; far slower than they made them in Safari. Apple didn't invent CUPS, they instead slowly pushed their changes upstream and when they got tired of it they purchased CUPS and re-licensed it they could continue on their proprietary way without having to contribute everything back.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                        I would say with items like Chrome taking a majority of the browser marketshare and cups being the defacto printing system of choice for non-windows machines there are a lot that would disagree.
                        CUPS is GPL, KHTML, err, WebKit is LGPL: further proof that GPL is the only way to get something back. We're still waiting to know what they contributed back to BSD, that's not useful to OSX obviously. BSD zealots are the most credulous people around and they like (are they masochistic?) to be caught by in simple honeypots (remember Darwin?).

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by locovaca View Post
                          Except Apple didn't invent Webkit, they used it from KDE and slowly merged changes back; far slower than they made them in Safari.
                          Actually Apple forked khtml and created Webkit where the changes appear in a timely manner.

                          Apple didn't invent CUPS, they instead slowly pushed their changes upstream and when they got tired of it they purchased CUPS and re-licensed it they could continue on their proprietary way without having to contribute everything back.
                          Everything present in the the Mac OS implementation is present in the release that you enjoy in your distribution. Fact is that Apple after purchasing CUPS could have just as easily changed the license leaving the opensource community with an older version of CUPS to base a forked version on. This has not happened however and CUPS continues to be maintained and developed in a open manner.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                            Actually Apple forked khtml and created Webkit where the changes appear in a timely manner.
                            Webkit as an open project is something that happened only after the complaints from the KDE community. Originally, all they got was occasional giant patch dumps.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                              My point is that you're the only one who can change the license of your code. Period.
                              Yes, but you have to do it, if you don't want to violate GPL.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Zardoz View Post
                                We're still waiting to know what they contributed back to BSD, that's not useful to OSX obviously.
                                Why would they as a company develop something that was not useful to them?

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X