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Re: [Qemu-devel] QEMU License and proprietary hardware

From: M. Warner Losh
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] QEMU License and proprietary hardware
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 16:33:58 -0600 (MDT)

In message: <address@hidden>
            Luke -Jr <address@hidden> writes:
: On Thursday 21 June 2007 06:28, Armbrost Failsafe wrote:
: > We are looking into using QEMU as the base for a model of a custom system
: > featuring some custom ASICs. But licensing issues are halting the process
: > right now. Does anyone know what happens license-wise if we create a model
: > of proprietary hardware using QEMU? Is that model automatically covered by
: > the GPL and thus we have to give to anyone who asks about it? It is clear
: > that if we keep it internal, it is OK. But anyone outside of our
: > organization is to use it, shouldn't they automatically be entitled to
: > receive the entire source of QEMU, including our models of proprietary
: > devices? Even if these are developed from scratch without using any
: > existing source code for devices?
: Yep, that's the purpose of the GPL. It'll probably get a lot of people 
: promoting it if you do a public release, too...

Well, that all depends on if the models constitute a derivative work
or not.  The GPL only has as much force of law as copyright law gives
it, and in order to be applicable, the work in question must somehow
rely on the GPL'd work.  The "somehow" here is an interesting legal
question that hasn't been well settled.

In this case, however, chances are excellent that it is a derivative
work and would be covered by the GPL.  IANAL.


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