[clug] The GPL and kernel modules

Chris Smart chris at kororaa.org
Tue Jun 20 05:34:59 GMT 2006

Thanks Hugh for that link. It is one of the best articles I've read on
the subject.

It appears to all come down to the definition of "derived work".

>From the article:
"Derivative works are a complicated aspect of copyright law, and are
subject to multiple interpretations. Nonetheless, we believe that LKMs
[Loadable Kernel Modules] are "derivative works" under copyright law
because, to the extent they are original works of authorship, they
function as (at best) extensions, elaborations, and adaptations of the
kernel itself."

Either way I guess one thing is certain, this email is a derived work of
that article :)


On Tue, 2006-06-20 at 12:34 +1000, Hugh Fisher wrote:
> A nicely written article about Linux and the GPL.
> <http://www.wasabisystems.com/gpl/>
> Interesting and disturbing statistics about OEM behaviour, why
> the new US Sarbanes-Oxley legislation gives the FSF a bigger
> club to wield against GPL violators, and a discussion - from
> an actual legal department - of whether nor not kernel modules
> can be closed source.
> (The authors are embedded systems developers so possibly have
> a bias, but I couldn't detect any.)
> 	cheers,
> 	Hugh

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