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Thread: Debating Continues Over Possible Kernel GPL Violation

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe_gunner View Post
    And the GPL nazis are at it again! Good code is what matters, join BSD.
    So, what did BSD ecosystem get from Microsoft for using BSD TCP stack code in their systems?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by disgrace View Post
    gpl is not definitive to the copyright owner. in the meanwhile, the owner has the right to distribute his code under another license. Nokia did dat with Qt: got it for free under gpl but everything you distribute must stay open source or pay a fee to get the code under a commercial license.
    MySQL did much the same thing, double licensing it's code under both the GPL and a proprietary license. So assuming (in the absence of evidence to the contrary) that Nicholas Bellinger and RTS are correct that the commercial version was developed first, then a branch from that code base was subsequently released under the GPL and contributed to the Linux kernel, the important questions would seem to be:

    1. Is code contributed to the GPL version by others being backported into the commercial version?
    2. Does the commercial version use the GPL only kernel API's?
    3. Is the commercial version bundled with the Linux kernel and distributed as a combined product?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaszak View Post
    So, what did BSD ecosystem get from Microsoft for using BSD TCP stack code in their systems?
    Publicity, bragging rights and some good resume fodder for the BSD developers. Not much, but what did the Linux ecosystem get from Microsoft not using their TCP stack code?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RagingDragon View Post
    Publicity, bragging rights and some good resume fodder for the BSD developers. Not much, but what did the Linux ecosystem get from Microsoft not using their TCP stack code?
    Parasite-free environment ;p

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RagingDragon View Post
    Publicity, bragging rights and some good resume fodder for the BSD developers. Not much, but what did the Linux ecosystem get from Microsoft not using their TCP stack code?
    Zing! Far and away the best retort to this question I've seen

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo2101 View Post
    wow....

    No wonder so many developer have a hard time with Linux...
    Yeah, the biggest, still growing and fastest growing software project on the planet have problems with developers...

    sure, whatever you say

    Quote Originally Posted by joe_gunner View Post
    And the GPL nazis are at it again! Good code is what matters, join BSD.
    Good code should remain free. Just look at the amazing contributions by Apple back to BSD community... Oh, wait, there are none.

    Quote Originally Posted by RagingDragon View Post
    Publicity, bragging rights and some good resume fodder for the BSD developers. Not much, but what did the Linux ecosystem get from Microsoft not using their TCP stack code?
    Nothing (apart for more heterogeneous environment in the network, which makes all the stacks better). But what did BSD get from MS? Hint: it's the whole lot of the same stuff that Apple is giving.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RagingDragon View Post
    Publicity, bragging rights and some good resume fodder for the BSD developers. Not much, but what did the Linux ecosystem get from Microsoft not using their TCP stack code?
    Right, publicity that anyone can use their stuff without having to contribute anything back.

    The best kind of deal is the one you don't have to pay for! Go go BSD!

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RagingDragon View Post
    MySQL did much the same thing, double licensing it's code under both the GPL and a proprietary license. So assuming (in the absence of evidence to the contrary) that Nicholas Bellinger and RTS are correct that the commercial version was developed first, then a branch from that code base was subsequently released under the GPL and contributed to the Linux kernel, the important questions would seem to be:

    1. Is code contributed to the GPL version by others being backported into the commercial version?
    2. Does the commercial version use the GPL only kernel API's?
    3. Is the commercial version bundled with the Linux kernel and distributed as a combined product?
    Its not like mysql which was a standalone application. They developed code against the kernel and ship a kernel and that code together to make their code work.

    whether they put that code into kernel at all doesn't matter.

    whether it uses _GPL APIs doesn't matter at all (these are pretty meaningless).

    All that matters is if they shipped a linux kernel and their closed code as a single product, which they did, which is generally seen as a GPL violation.

    Dave.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by airlied View Post
    Its not like mysql which was a standalone application. They developed code against the kernel and ship a kernel and that code together to make their code work.
    What makes this a difference and as the first license to the code was not GPL hasn't linux broken their license by including it into the kernel?
    whether they put that code into kernel at all doesn't matter.
    Why not? First you told mysql was standalone, hence it's different. I'm pretty sure the linux kernel is standalone, too. Now you say that it was kernel code doesn't matter at all.
    whether it uses _GPL APIs doesn't matter at all (these are pretty meaningless).
    You should
    1) Tell that to the companies (with a big fat warning that your going to profile all their dirvers) and
    2) Rename all to end with _GPL to give it a meaning.
    All that matters is if they shipped a linux kernel and their closed code as a single product, which they did, which is generally seen as a GPL violation.
    They did? Isn't it kernel.org and the distributions shipping the kernel?

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAXI View Post
    What makes this a difference and as the first license to the code was not GPL hasn't linux broken their license by including it into the kernel?

    Why not? First you told mysql was standalone, hence it's different. I'm pretty sure the linux kernel is standalone, too. Now you say that it was kernel code doesn't matter at all.

    You should
    1) Tell that to the companies (with a big fat warning that your going to profile all their dirvers) and
    2) Rename all to end with _GPL to give it a meaning.

    They did? Isn't it kernel.org and the distributions shipping the kernel?
    mysql created a complete codebase, and released it under two licenses. GPL and proprietary. the GPL is concerned with derivative works and linking of things together mostly.

    So company who wrote and owns copyright on mysql distributes it without linking to any other GPL thing, all good, releases plugins that link to proprieatry all good also.

    Now company who creates a scsi target layer for the Linux kernel, isn't creating a standalone work, they are specifically creating a work that relies on the Linux kernel. If they don't ever distribute that work then thats fine.

    The company distributes that work to others in a product which contains a linux kernel and that code, then the question of it being a derived work comes into play.

    Does the code standalone from the kernel? can it do anything without the kernel being linked with it? does it have a history preceeding it being developed with the kernel.

    Now the secondary issue is the company took a large chunk of the code they wrote and licensed it under the GPL, and got it included in the kernel, however this has no bearing on whether the original work they did is a derived work of the kernel and thus covered by the GPL.

    The final issue is if they took back changes made to the GPL licensed version from upstream kernel devs and merged them into their secret one. That would lead to a second GPL violation, separate from the first one.

    _GPL is mostly meaningless and companies hiding behind it should have a very good idea about what constitutes a derived work of the Linux kernel,

    some examples:
    nvidia binary driver - since its built from a codebase that existed outside the kernel, their Windows driver its difficult to assert it as being a derived work.
    andrew file system - this FS pre-existed Linux, so it is most clearly not derived.

    _GPL was meant to help people with those sort of use cases, but not for somone who wrote a large body of code that relies on the kernel to be useful at all.

    Dave.

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