GPL vs BSD Licence
tedm at toybox.placo.com
Thu Oct 28 23:10:08 PDT 2004
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Phil Schulz [mailto:ph.schulz at gmx.de]
> Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2004 1:49 PM
> To: chat at freebsd.org
> Cc: TM4525 at aol.com; tedm at toybox.placo.com
> Subject: Re: GPL vs BSD Licence
> A while back, I fast-read a post of Linus Torvalds to a mailing list
> saying why he thinks that binary-only enhancements to linux must be GPL
> licenced (and I believed the statemant was discussed on a FreeBSD-list
> also). His argument was that by using the kernel headers your work
> automatically becomes a derived work, thus it needs to be licensed under
> the GPL. I seem to recall the discussion was about nVidia's closed
> source, binary only drivers but, according to Linus, affects all similar
> products. I'm unsure if and how this issue is being dealt with.
It is. It is the stated policy of the FSF that loadable kernel modules
are considered part of the GPL work and therefore must be GPL'ed
themselves. That is where all this is coming from. It is kind of
a personal vendetta/issue with RMS I understand. This position has
also created lots of controversy as you might imagine.
> But then, I'm not sure (and I mean it) if there can be any piece of
> software which, if designed for e.g. Linux, can be written w/o using any
> system headers, libraries or whatsoever.
They make an exception for libraries with the LGPL license. Certain
ones, only, however.
All this is discussed on the FSF website, by the way.
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