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Re: [Qemu-devel] why is kqemu closed?

From: Jamie Lokier
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] why is kqemu closed?
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 14:58:22 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.4.1i

andrzej zaborowski wrote:
> Anything released to the public by anyone is legal as long as it
> doesn't include (in it's content) parts of other people's
> copyrighted work. In this sense, kqemu can import whatever symbols
> it wants and have whatever license tag because when you download
> kqemu you're not downloading any piece of kernel's code as a part of
> kqemu.

That point is not correct.

Look up the legal terms "indirect infringement" and "contributory

If an author distributes something whose principal use will be to
facilitate copyright infringement (i.e. by the users), then the author
may be found guilty of indirect infringement.

Both indirect infringement of GPL'd code, by distributing module
source code which depends on overly-intimate details of the kernel to
be useful, and direct infringement, by virtue of distributing compiled
binaries which use long inline definitions from kernel header files,
are among the theories about what may or may not be infringing.  The
specially-marked symbols in Linux kernel source are guidelines and
indications of intention, which may prove relevant in a court of law
if judgement is required on a borderline case.

Note that I'm not saying anything about kqemu.  Only pointing out that
it's false to say that distributing code you wrote yourself is never
copyright infringement.

> Now, whether using kqemu together with a linux kernel will still be
> legal is a different issue, but here the question is whether the user
> is breaking the law, not the author.

The GPL doesn't restrict linking and using whatever combination you
like.  It only restricts distribution, which the user in your example
isn't doing.  So end users are unlikely to be deemed guilty of anything.

-- Jamie

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