[openbeos] Re: gpl licensing

  • From: mphipps1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 02 Aug 2005 11:55:57 -0400

I suppose one could argue that the developer can not GPL his code if it
links in the manner that the FAQ is talking about. I think that would be
a very strange discussion; there is little that I know of in contract
law that you can not do (other than obviously illegal things). I think
that this is one of the places where the GNU folks may be reaching to
cover as much as they can, whether they are right or not is probably
another matter. 

If the interface is public and well documented, it seems to me that
anyone could write code for it under any license. Take, for example,
Linux. Judging from what the GNU folks wrote, it would seem to me that
you can not write a closed source binary driver for Linux.  All of the
criteria are met - they share data structures (ioctl, for one), the
driver calls functions in the kernel (allocating memory, for one) and is
called (vfs_read or whatever they call it). It would seem to me that
that would be a violation. That sort of reasoning is why I think that
they FAQ is wrong in that regard. 

But, of course, I am not a lawyer. 

----- Original Message -----
From: Danny Robson <danny@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tuesday, August 2, 2005 9:52 am
Subject: [openbeos] Re: mp4 reader now alpha

> mphipps1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> > In this case, I think that it is demonstrable that an outside party
> > (David) can not force Haiku to change their license by creating an
> > add-on. Not that I think that he is trying to, mind you. 
> Likewise, you
> > can not force Windows to be GPL by creating a GPL driver, even 
> though> the driver calls the kernel and the kernel calls the 
> driver. I think
> > that the GNU folks are mistaken in their belief on this one. 
> True, you cannot force a change of licence, but if the FAQ is 
> correct it 
> still remains a breach of licence and hence illegal/etc. If I'm 
> reading 
> the licence correctly, section 2b requires that the whole package 
> be 
> distributed under the GPL or else you simply cant use it.. At least 
> that's my interpretation.
> Oh, only just realised my previous message could be interpreted as 
> forcing a change. I simply meant that it would require a licence 
> change 
> to be done above board.
> - Danny

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