[linux-elitists] What would be the proper course of action for a possible GPL violation?

Phil Mayers p.mayers@imperial.ac.uk
Thu May 15 09:08:09 PDT 2008

On Thu, May 15, 2008 at 08:45:04AM -0700, Rick Moen wrote:
>Quoting Phil Mayers (p.mayers@imperial.ac.uk):
>> What about if the device runs a supposedly unmodified linux kernel, but 
>> compiled with a specific toolchain which is not available? Are they not 
>> mandated to make the toolchain & build scripts available?
>I don't believe there's any general grounds on which a compiled binary
>is deemed necessarily a derivative work of its toolchain, else it would
>not be possible to compile proprietary or incompatibly-licensed binaries
>with free-software toolchains.

Sorry, precision problem on my part; I am referring to the bit of the 
GPLv2 that says:

The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for 
making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source code 
means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any 
associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to control 
compilation and installation of the executable

...so, not the toolchain, but the build scripts and stuff used to 
package the resultant software into a form installable on a device.

In particular, what if the device takes a self-un-gzipping signed binary 
of the linux kernel? Are not the scripts used to compile *and control 
installation* i.e. pack and sign the binary, covered under GPL?

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