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

From: Johannes Schindelin
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] QEMU License and proprietary hardware
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 18:37:36 +0100 (BST)


On Fri, 22 Jun 2007, Luke -Jr wrote:

> On Friday 22 June 2007 11:46, M. Warner Losh wrote:
> > If what you did somehow wasn't a derivative work, then the there's no 
> > legal basis for forcing compliance with a license.
> Unless you modify or distribute the work. These acts are illegal without 
> compliance with the license.

No. If what you did was not a derivative work, then it was no derivative 
work, then it was no derivative work.

So if you changed a GPL program, and distribute that, you have to license 
these changes with the same license.

If at the same time you make something original, which is not derived from 
the GPLed program, then you are as free as a bird to sh*t on the GPL with 
regards to your original work. You can choose whatever license, if any.

What you throw about here, Luke, is FUD.

The GPL is only insofar viral as you cannot take something GPLed and just 
relicense it at will. Not even when you modify it.

However, writing a virtual device that just happens to be dynamically 
linkable to QEmu, but might just as well be linked to VMWare, is fine. 
This virtual device is clearly _not_ derived from QEmu.

You can do something like that easily, by implementing a clean interface 
for QEmu, which allows you to runtime link with such a standalone virtual 
device. A couple of people would even thank you for that.

Besides, QEmu's core is LGPL. Not GPL.

All this discussion is moot though. If you're not a lawyer, you should 
not behave like one, and respect the wishes of the authors for a change.

> It is undisputed that it would be in violation if the kernel was 
> distributed with the modules.

Nope. It is not undisputed.

> The GPL is clear that mere use (end user) is always allowed.

That's right.

> It is also fairly clear (the opinions of many kernel developers and IP 
> lawyers) that proprietary modules for Linux are illegal to distribute.

Nope. Not at all.

I'd rather have your virtual device open sourced, but if you cannot do 
that, I'd rather have it closed-source, than not at all.

And please stop this FUD about the GPL being viral and stuff.


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