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Samsung Accidentally Leaked The exFAT Linux Driver

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  • #16
    Originally posted by timofonic View Post
    did dirty things in the code, copying GPL'd stuff into their "propietary"
    They all do that. I wonder if there's one piece of closed source out there that isn't parasitic (i.e. doesn't contain stolen GPL-ed code).

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    • #17
      Originally posted by prodigy_ View Post
      They all do that. I wonder if there's one piece of closed source out there that isn't parasitic (i.e. doesn't contain stolen GPL-ed code).
      Let's research and sue'em all!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by prodigy_ View Post
        They all do that. I wonder if there's one piece of closed source out there that isn't parasitic (i.e. doesn't contain stolen GPL-ed code).
        Do you have any evidence to back that up?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by chrisb View Post
          Well it is also likely that this module violates the GPL license of the kernel. Linus only considers stuff that was originally written for other operating systems and then trivially ported to Linux as non-GPL:



          The Samsung code appears to have been written by a developer who has been doing Linux kernel development since 2002 (at least), so I think they would have a hard time in court arguing that this is a cleanroom implementation that wasn't "designed for Linux". Now that the source is out, it will be interesting to see some more technical analysis of exactly how integrated it is with the kernel, and whether it actually contains any code/data structures that taint it due to being directly copied from the kernel.
          Good post. I got the best understanding of what is going on from this post. Thanks for making it so clear.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by archibald View Post
            Do you have any evidence to back that up?
            /sigh

            Don't we have right here in this thread a random piece of closed source code with evidence all over it?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by prodigy_ View Post
              /sigh

              Don't we have right here in this thread a random piece of closed source code with evidence all over it?
              With the gigantic sample size of exactly one piece of software your conclusions must be true. /sarcasm
              Now just come up with some real evidence that all do that, as you claim.

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              • #22
                Just to clear things up - Vim_User and archibald are *BSD fans, so you don't even need to provide them any evidence, you will be just wasting our time.
                But in any case, recently some German company was sued for 7000$ for copy-pasting GPL code.
                Of course, I predict these two will now switch song to "How GPL is parasitic and why you should use BSD instead, all hail parasitic EULA".
                I don't want to derail thread, so I am off from conversation. I already got copy of source code, so kmagb

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                • #23
                  Well this is at least one example for taken code - if that happended vice versa then the kernel devs would have to re-implement another solution for this. I bet Samsung won't care to do that. Not to be mistaken, I think Samsung is doing a good job at all for open source projects, I do believe and hope that they will release that entire code as GPL...but that may not happen for sure since they did not do it yet.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by chrisb View Post
                    The Samsung code appears to have been written by a developer who has been doing Linux kernel development since 2002 (at least),
                    How is it with the GPL? If this developer would be the one who commited the original source code to the linux kernel, would he be allowed to relicense his own code for this driver?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by ChrisXY View Post
                      How is it with the GPL? If this developer would be the one who commited the original source code to the linux kernel, would he be allowed to relicense his own code for this driver?
                      The developer would still hold the copyright to the lines that they wrote, so they could relicense those lines however they want, but couldn't relicense any lines written by other people. In this case, the code has been contributed to by various people over many years and the Samsung source includes code and comments from different authors spread over years, so it seems unlikely that someone managed to contact them all and produce a legal closed source fork.

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                      • #26
                        A couple points in response to quite a few comments:
                        Just because code violates the GPL doesn't mean it gets released under the GPL. I haven't seen anyone make this mistake explicitly, but I feel as though it has been implied to some degree. So for example, if Samsung did violate the GPL with this code, and it was supposed to be licensed under the GPL, there are multiple legal resolutions, of which licensing the code under the GPL is only one. More likely, they would pay a fine and rewrite the code or something similar. Because of that, even if the code that rxrz released supposedly under the GPL was supposed to be under the GPL originally, doesn't mean it actually is for certain legally licensed under the GPL now. In fact, since it violates Samsung's license, it's not. A violation of a license that violates a license isn't necessarily legal.
                        And secondly, it's entirely possible Samsung cannot license the code under the GPL because it contains code or patents that aren't theirs to license (namely, Microsoft's), which were licensed to Samsung to use and maybe even distribute in binary form, but not relicense.

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                        • #27
                          Here's the original source of the leak that I have used in the exfat-nofuse project: https://github.com/kcrudup/gt-n8000-...cc3ca/fs/exfat (kernel v3.0)
                          Have fun, don't forget to tell mom and dad if you find more lines of the original GPL Fat code there.

                          Take care.
                          Last edited by rzrx; 07-23-2013, 11:34 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by timofonic View Post
                            Somebody opened the can of worms! It seems a Samsung employee did dirty things in the code, copying GPL'd stuff into their "propietary" filesystem driver and that means it's a derived work by all means.

                            Are there plans about researching that source code? I'm sure there can be more interesting stuff out there, maybe an automated pattern search could give more results.

                            So well, exFAT is available. Now let's attack the patents that cover it
                            While this likely does violate the GPL, that doesn't mean the code is now somehow magically available for us to change into GPL code.

                            It's still proprietary code, it's just that now someone could sue Samsung if they wanted to. If you had enough money, this would probably be a great way to pressure them into releasing the driver under the GPL, but unless they agree to do so it's still proprietary. And as mentioned elsewhere, even if it was GPL it would still have a bunch of MS patents you'd have to license before legally using. Just like x264, for example.

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                            • #29
                              I'm still confused by the technical aspect, but as I'm not a developer, it's not obvious to me. If it's a linux kernel module, where's the point in copying parts of it into the module code ? I mean, it can create conflicts with the "kernel core" code, am I right ?

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                                It's still proprietary code, it's just that now someone could sue Samsung if they wanted to. If you had enough money, this would probably be a great way to pressure them into releasing the driver under the GPL, but unless they agree to do so it's still proprietary. And as mentioned elsewhere, even if it was GPL it would still have a bunch of MS patents you'd have to license before legally using. Just like x264, for example.
                                Samsung now has the chance to either say “yes, we licensed that under the GPL” or “yes, we violated the GPL by propagating this code”.

                                They can assign the blame to their developer, but I think it highly likely that this code was propagated somewhere else in binary form. And in that case they would have been obliged to provide sources licensed under the GPL - or they would have violated the GPL repeatedly.

                                And since the GPLv2 has an instant-death-clause¹, if they violated the GPL, they now have to get permission from every single kernel developer to use the kernel under GPLv2 again, otherwise they are not allowed to propagate Linux anymore.

                                Which would suck quite badly in case they want to continue distributing Android.

                                ¹: See clause 4 of the GPLv2: You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance. — http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html

                                GPLv3 is much softer here: If you stop violating it within 30 days after being notified of your violation or if you already stopped 60 days ago and did not yet get notified, you escape the instant-death. See clause 8: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html

                                For more information, see http://www.h-online.com/open/feature...98.html?page=3

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