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

From: David Woodhouse
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 07:58:23 EST

On Fri, 2007-06-15 at 13:49 +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> i fully support the notion you articulate, that whether bin-only modules
> are part of a derivative work of the kernel or whether they are
> independent works is not an automatic thing at all. The answer is: "it
> depends, talk to your lawyer".

I was actually trying to avoid the question altogether. It's not that
interesting, largely because the answer is indeed 'talk to your lawyer'.

> For example i'd say VMWare's ESX bin-only module is likely derived
> from the Linux kernel and should be distributed under the GPL, but
> that for example the ATI and nvidia drivers, although being a large
> PITA for all of us, are possibly independent works.

And thus not affected by the GPL _if_ they are distributed as separate
works in their own right. But if you bundle them with the kernel into a
product, the GPL has something to say about that.

> but lets note that this is irrelevant to the Tivo argument. Tivo is not
> using bin-only modules AFAIK,

Right. It was a digression, which I picked up on because people were
talking about derived works in the context of modules again, and missing
the point that the most _obvious_ GPL violation with modules doesn't
actually involve those modules being a derived work at all.


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