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Re: linux gpl question

On Thu, 25 Apr 2002, martin f krafft wrote:

>[please cc me on responses]
>hey wise people,
>i have a question that's stunning us over here. there's someone
>selling a complete firewall appliance atop a linux kernel. he
>advertises it as hardened and as super-secure because he patched the
>kernel here and there, and because he added userland stuff.
>now my question: the kernel's gpl, so everything using the kernel
>source must be gpl. that does force this guy to make the source of all
>his kernel tree patches available, unless he provides binary patches
>for the kernel, right? in this case, does he have to let people know
>exactly which patches are applied?

No, he doesn't have to do anything at all with his patches.  They aren't 
the FSF's to define the license for.  For ONLY the work he authored or 
has the rights of authorship in, he may do whatever he wishes with it.

>or, can he simply make the kernel source available, but ship it in
>binary only form with his patches applied?

Even worse, he only has to OFFER to make available the kernel source: a 
written offer, good for longer than three years, to provide the source for 
no  more than the cost of media.

>i'd love to hear your thoughts...

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

Who is John Galt?  galt@inconnu.isu.edu, that's who!  

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