Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Sat Jul 19 04:39:58 UTC 2008

Rahul Sundaram wrote:
>> Does this direct quote from 1995 help your memory problem?
> Claiming that I have memory problems after you have been misstating the 
> case for a long time without any references is quite rich. The below 
> quote or mail nowhere has a blanket statement saying binary modules are 
> not derivative works as you claim.

I don't see how anyone can forget that he plainly wrote that demanding 
that modules be GPL'd is both legally and morally wrong.  Or have any 
question about the meaning of this portion of the Linux license:

   "NOTE! This copyright does *not* cover user programs that use
    kernel services by normal system calls - this is merely considered
    normal use of the kernel, and does *not* fall under the heading
    of "derived work".

in context with:

     "... just see module loading as "use" of the
      kernel, rather than as linking against it."

Maybe there's been a bait-and-switch ploy since then, but it was clearly 
understood by the FSF legal counsel and everyone else at the time 
although RMS argued the point (of course).  See the top of page 16 here:
http://www.linuxdevices.com/files/misc/asay-paper.pdf  (sorry, can't 
find a nicer format).

>> Hence his exception to the GPL permitting use of the kernel interfaces. 
> I have told you before that there is no such exception and I quote from 
> the first link:
> "Well, there really is no exception.

So his own quote, and the FSF legal counsel's understanding of the terms 
as he stated them were both wrong?

> You were told about the problems earlier on too and you choose to ignore 
> it. CDDL was deliberately designed to be incompatible with GPL

Deliberate? _Everything_ that is not the GPL is incompatible with the GPL.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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