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From: Alex Belits <>
To: John Bradford <>
Subject: Re: Additional clauses to GPL in network drivers
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2003 18:00:08 -0700 (MST)	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.58.0312071753230.1236@mercury> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Sun, 7 Dec 2003, John Bradford wrote:

> For example, it brings up a few issues:
> 1. How is 'operating system' supposed to be defined in this context?
> I assume that if it meant just the kernel, it would say 'kernel'.
> If you define 'operating system' as including some userspace
> utilities, it's going to cause problems, as some common utilities are
> not GPL'ed, (the extra clause doesn't say 'GPL-compatible', it
> specifically specifies GPL).

  I guess, it really means, "kernel as distributed".

> 2. Is code licensed under this extra term actually compatible with
> code placed under the GPL alone?

  As I understand it, the statement was only meant to emphasize that the
file is a part of a larger work that is licensed under GPL, and its (and
derivations') distribution as a separate work is still governed by GPL
(in particular, it does not allow incorporation into other products under
other licenses) and the authors are unwilling to re-license it under any
non-GPL terms. The way how it was expressed is unclear and formally
incorrect, but I think, the intent of the statement is merely to re-state
the restrictions that are already in GPL and discourage attempts to obtain
(or assume) other licenses.

> 3. I haven't tried to trace the history of this code, but if these
> drivers were based on, and include, other developer's purely GPL'ed
> code, applying this extra condition is presumably not valid, (unless
> specific permission was sought to do so).
> 4. The obvious issue concerning binary modules - does loading a binary
> module which is not licensed under the GPL invalidate your license to
> use these network drivers?  Note that I personally have no interest
> whatsoever in using such binary modules, but whatever ends up being
> decided for the GPL'ed parts of the kernel, this extra clause suggests
> to me that it specifically isn't OK whilst using these network
> drivers.

  The statement is unclear on this, however if you read "operating system"
as "kernel as distributed" and "use" as "distribute" it would make perfect
sense. Otherwise it's meaningless.


  parent reply	other threads:[~2003-12-08  0:50 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 11+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2003-12-07 15:15 Additional clauses to GPL in network drivers John Bradford
2003-12-07 16:15 ` Krzysztof Halasa
2003-12-08  8:32   ` John Bradford
2003-12-08  0:29 ` David Schwartz
2003-12-08  1:00 ` Alex Belits [this message]
2003-12-08  2:32 ` David Schwartz
2003-12-08  3:11   ` Jeremy Maitin-Shepard
2003-12-08  3:51     ` David Schwartz
2003-12-08  6:40       ` Shawn Willden
2003-12-08 20:57       ` Matthias Andree
2003-12-07 17:15 Xose Vazquez Perez

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