Re: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3

From: Michael Poole
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 00:20:11 EST

david@xxxxxxx writes:

> On Fri, 15 Jun 2007, Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> Subject: Re: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3
>> On Jun 14, 2007, Bill Nottingham <notting@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> OK. Let's take this to the simple and logical conclusion. A signed
>>> filesystem image containing both GPL and non-GPL code. From your
>>> point A, this is a derived work.
>> I claim the signature is derived from the GPLed bits, yes. Whether
>> that's a derived work, in the legal sense, I'm not qualified to say.
> it's also derived from the non-GPLed bits as well.
> so if it were a derived work in a legal sense (nessasary for your
> argument to have any legal meaning) then it's now illegal to make and
> distribute a checksum of a CD that contains software with incompatible
> licenses.

It is not necessary for the end item to be a derived work in order for
the GPL to apply. A literal copy is not a derived work; a translation
is not a derived work; an executable version of a program is not a
derived work of its source code; and so forth.

What is necessary is that the "work based on the [GPLed] Program" be
more than a mere aggregation of the GPLed component(s) with non-GPLed
components. The fact that part of the work-as-a-whole is a descriptor
of the GPLed part does not mean all descriptions the GPLed part are
governed by the GPL. The critical factor is that the GPLed part will
not function properly without the DRM signature.

Michael Poole
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