cvs commit: src/lib/libdwarf Makefile _libdwarf.h dwarf.h
dwarf_abbrev.c dwarf_attr.c dwarf_attrval.c dwarf_cu.c
dwarf_dealloc.c dwarf_die.c dwarf_dump.c dwarf_errmsg.c
dwarf_errno.c dwarf_finish.c dwarf_form.c dwarf_init.c
peter at wemm.org
Fri May 23 16:38:30 UTC 2008
On Wed, May 21, 2008 at 8:11 PM, M. Warner Losh <imp at bsdimp.com> wrote:
> In message: <200805220214.m4M2EYTM061847 at repoman.freebsd.org>
> John Birrell <jb at FreeBSD.org> writes:
> : The API for this library is deliberately different to the GPL'd
> : libdwarf to avoid licensing problems.
> What licensing problems does it avoid? APIs can't be copyrighted, and
> therefore can't be GPL'd.
Well.. the GNU and linux folk have an interesting spin on this. They
seem to maintain that if an API is specific to a GPL'ed code blob,
then programs that use that specific API are therefore derivatives.
There was a case a few years ago about the gmp library. They
maintained that a 3rd party consumer of libgmp was a GPL violation if
it wasn't distributed under GPL compatible terms. I seem to recall
that the 'fgmp' (free-gmp) library came out, and a new release of the
3rd party package was made with the references in the documentation
changed to something like 'uses fgmp or a fgmp-compatible library like
gmp' or some such. It was all a giant circus and waste of effort,
especially since fgmp wasn't really a viable gmp replacement.
The next point is that the Linux folks (including Linus) seem to
consider that making calls to the linux kernel causes your driver to
be a derivative, unless the API you're calling has been blessed as a
public interface. (To be fair, I can see the point for their specific
circumstances, but their interpretation of copyright seems to be quite
a stretch to me).
Back to this case. There are non-GPL implementations of libdwarf out
there. I think the API is well and truly fair game at this point.
Peter Wemm - peter at wemm.org; peter at FreeBSD.org; peter at yahoo-inc.com
"All of this is for nothing if we don't go to the stars" - JMS/B5
"If Java had true garbage collection, most programs would delete
themselves upon execution." -- Robert Sewell
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