Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Rahul Sundaram sundaram at fedoraproject.org
Sun Jul 20 17:10:02 UTC 2008

Les Mikesell wrote:
> 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:

Again, he said no such thing. In fact, he argued explicitly that even if 
it legally correct, it is morally wrong.

>   "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".

This is clearly talking about syscall interface and unrelated to the 
kernel modules interface.

>> "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?

The portion I quote is from a mail from Linus.  He clearly says there is 
no exception

Read again,


FSF didn't give a direct interpretation of his quote and that cannot be 
held more authoritative than the original copyright holders anyway. 
Simply put, FSF doesn't hold copyright over the Linux kernel. The 
copyright holders (which is more than just Linus) intention's matter.

>> 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.

This one is a clear lie. There are dozens and dozens of GPL compatible 
licenses. Any license which has no additional restrictions above and 
beyond GPL requirements are compatible with it.



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