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Thread: Debating Continues Over Possible Kernel GPL Violation

  1. #1
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    Default Debating Continues Over Possible Kernel GPL Violation

    Phoronix: Debating Continues Over Possible Kernel GPL Violation

    For the past few days there has been a much-viewed and very polarized discussion happening on the Linux kernel mailing list about a possible GPL violation within the Linux kernel...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTIyNzU

  2. #2

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    And people wonder why we have binary blobs. No sane person would contribute code if doing so implies surrendering any rights that they can reasonably expect as a copyright owner. Incidents like this are a great way to drive companies either away from Linux or toward creating binary blobs.

  3. #3
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    I'm getting some popcorn for this. It's gonna be great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryao View Post
    And people wonder why we have binary blobs. No sane person would contribute code if doing so implies surrendering any rights that they can reasonably expect as a copyright owner. Incidents like this are a great way to drive companies either away from Linux or toward creating binary blobs.
    Not really relevant. The question isn't over what rights they have over their own code - there's no question that they can release a proprietary version of the bits they actually hold copyright over. It's purely a question of whether their code is isolated enough that they're not using code that they *don't* own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryao View Post
    And people wonder why we have binary blobs. No sane person would contribute code if doing so implies surrendering any rights that they can reasonably expect as a copyright owner. Incidents like this are a great way to drive companies either away from Linux or toward creating binary blobs.
    Well if they have written the code from which they created their proprietary version all by themselves then they certainly have the rights to provide that proprietary version and continue to develop it as such, they can also re-licence it under other terms, it's all within their rights as in this case the code are theirs alone.

    However, if they are shipping the proprietary version as part of a Linux kernel to third-parties then they are in breach of GPL as their code is then a derivative work, this is not some new concept and it's very well understood.

    Looking past the stupidity (imo) of trying to make a business out of shipping proprietary components for inclusion into the GPL licenced Linux kernel, it seems that they didn't even write all the code themselves to begin with, which would make this 'debate' entirely pointless.

    Your scaremongering of companies leaving Linux or turning to binary blobs betrays your dislike of the GPL as it's entirely illogical, if it wasn't for GPL preventing their inclusion into the kernel we'd have tons more binary blobs and far fewer open source drivers.

  6. #6
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    gpl is not definitive to the copyright owner. in the meanwhile, the owner has the right to distribute his code under another license. Nokia did dat with Qt: got it for free under gpl but everything you distribute must stay open source or pay a fee to get the code under a commercial license.

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    Quote Originally Posted by disgrace View Post
    gpl is not definitive to the copyright owner. in the meanwhile, the owner has the right to distribute his code under another license.
    That's true - but it's only true of the code the copyright owner actually owns. If they can keep their code separate enough that it doesn't depend on anyone else's code, that's fine.

    But if they can't, it's considered a derivative work, and they can't do so without the permission of any other relevant copyright holders. And reading those LKML posts, it sounds like people are generally skeptical, believing that such a separation is unlikely to be possible.

  8. #8
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    wow....

    No wonder so many developer have a hard time with Linux...

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    Quote Originally Posted by solo2101 View Post
    wow....

    No wonder so many developer have a hard time with Linux...
    Which is evident with the lack of Linux developers compared to other systems??? Your trolling is exceptionally weak.

  10. #10
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    And the GPL nazis are at it again! Good code is what matters, join BSD.

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