[linux-elitists] [dave@farber.net: [IP] more on next obvious question]

Jeff Kinz jkinz@kinz.org
Tue Jun 7 12:30:12 PDT 2005


On Tue, Jun 07, 2005 at 01:46:31PM -0500, le wrote:
> On Tue, 2005-06-07 at 14:13 -0400, Jeff Kinz wrote: 
> > On Tue, Jun 07, 2005 at 12:24:30PM -0500, Brandon D. Valentine wrote:
> > > On Tue, Jun 07, 2005 at 08:07:27AM -0700, Greg KH wrote:
> > > > On Tue, Jun 07, 2005 at 09:08:45AM +0200, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> > > > > 2. *If* apple wants to support the OS on third-party machines, they make
> > > > > interfaces available that enable third-party drivers, such as the
> > > > > existing Linux drivers, to be ported to their OS. The existing OS is
> > > > > BSD-based. It would be very feasible to add a binary module loading
> > > > > interface that would allow existing linux drivers to be executed
> > > > > **without raising any licensing problems.**
> > > > 
> > > > It's illegal to put GPL drivers into a BSD kernel, hence, this isn't an
> > > > option.
> > > 
> > > Boy, this _IS_ the linux-elitists list!
> > > 
> > > When you rewrite the copyright law, you might send RMS a note.  You'll
> > > make his day.
> > > 
> > Brandon, I have to echo Greg KH's confusion. What are you saying here?
> > 
> > My (informal) understanding of the GPL and BSD licenses indicate that
> > they conflict with each other to a degree that requires mutual
> > exclusivity.
> > 
> > Specifically, BSD licenses say "do anything you want, but preserve the
> > author credits"
> > 
> > GPL says "Same thing as BSD, except you must share all your code changes
> > for anything you ship to a customer" (rough and incomplete wording)
> > 
> > Because of this, GPL code cannot be included in a BSD licensed work.
> > 
> > Does this match your understanding as well?
> 
> It doesn't match my understanding. They can be mixed and matched. The
> end result is that the GPL portions must maintain the GPL license. If
> someone wanted to distribute in binary only form, they would only need
> to remove the GPL portions from the binary. 

Generating an incomplete or partial result.

> As for the original comment about drivers, GPL drivers could be
> distributed just fine all by themselves to be loaded into a BSD kernel.
> There are plenty of GPL apps out there that make use of BSD licensed
> libraries. 

So, a binary only BSD CD, with the source to all the included GPL drivers on it
as well.  hmmm.

Ok, yes, I understand that you can do the things described in the
your preceding two paragraphs legally by the licenses.... but

By doing those things, you prevent yourself from shipping a complete,
integrated, working, product/tool/"thingey".  While that's probably OK
with more technical DIY'ers, its make the result kind of a dud for wider
consumption beyond the immediate, relatively few, DIY crowd.

We have different ends in mind.  :-)

Anyone taking in such a package for use to make their own product would
have to be very aware of what the IP and licensing issues are to prevent
themselves from tripping over same. Doable, but more complicated. 


> It only complicates issues when one wishes to take the code closed
> source. 

Of course, thats the source of the conflict.




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