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

From: M. Warner Losh
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] why is kqemu closed?
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 09:43:01 -0600 (MDT)

In message: <address@hidden>
            Paul Brook <address@hidden> writes:
: > 4. There is a slippery slope here - 
: There's a slippery slope both ways. If you assume vital parts of your system 
: are going to be closed source then why bother with open source at all. Just 
: use Windows or HPUX.
: > if Linux kernel policies can change 
: > to force all kernel-space binding to be GPL (even though Linus decreed
: > that this is not the case years ago), what's next?  Libraries that make
: > kernel interface calls should be GPL rather than LGPL?  
: Now you're talking total nonsense.
: The GPL explicitly says that OS is exempt from the requirements placed on an 
: application:
: "the source code distributed need not include
: anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
: form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
: operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
: itself accompanies the executable."

I think that you are missing the point.  He's not saying that you have
to distribute the source (which is what that exemption is about).
He's saying that the license on a mere library cannot and should not
force applications linked with that library to become a derived work.
And he's right about that being a dangerous precident.  If I call
write(2) in my application, the mere fact that the kernel is GPL'd
shouldn't matter for the license of my application.  It is not a
derived work.

The circumlocutions that some people go through to try to show that
somehow using internal kernel interfaces make something a derived work
do border on the absurd and are a very agressive interpretation of
what makes a work a derived work.  That interpretation needs to be
curbed, otherwise we'd have a slipperly slope where libc becomes GPL'd
and merely linking against it once and providing that binary infects
the application with the GPL (a position that no court has endorced).


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