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Re: linux gpl question

On Fri, Apr 26, 2002 at 04:53:24PM -0600, John Galt wrote:
> On Thu, 25 Apr 2002, David Starner wrote:

> >On Thu, Apr 25, 2002 at 09:35:44PM -0600, John Galt wrote:
> >> 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.

> >A patch to a program is a derivative work of the program, in most cases.
> >Hence, you need permission of the copyright owner to distribute it;
> >lacking direct permission (rather painful for the kernel), you have to
> >distribute it under the GPL if you distribute it.

> Only assuming that you distribute the patched kernel as a unit.  It is 
> entirely feasable to distribute the patches as a separately copyrightable 
> entity.

Does your use of a pseudonym result in an even higher degree of
detachment from reality than one normally expects in arcane legal
discussions?  What the hell does distributing a patch in isolation have
to do with the issue at hand?  He's distributing *compiled* *binaries*,
for God's sake, with no source code being made obviously available --
that's why the question was even /asked/.

Any nitpicking about whether a patch distributed in isolation is a
derived work is completely and utterly irrelevant to the original
question concerning firewall appliances.  It's sufficient to say that
the MOST someone could do without having to comply with the GPL is
distribute their patch in isolation -- in other words, not much that's
of any use, and certainly nothing that's of use to someone interested in
keeping their changes private.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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