Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Rahul Sundaram sundaram at fedoraproject.org
Sun Jul 20 23:05:57 UTC 2008

Les Mikesell wrote:
> How can you say that after reading from the link:
>   "After all, the driver wasn't actually derived from linux
>    itself: it's a real driver in its own right, so I don't
>    feel that I have the moral right to force him to switch copyrights.
> How much clearer can you be that it would be morally wrong to pretend 
> that a module is a derived work or to force a copyright change???

You are taking a specific case of AFS and trying to generalise it. Sorry 
  I am not buying that. Neither will anyone seeing the other in numerous 
statements made by Linus I have referred to.  A direct quote from Linus 
that explains this


"Historically, there's been things like the original Andrew filesystem
module: a standard filesystem that really wasn't written for Linux in 
the first place, and just implements a UNIX filesystem. Is that derived 
just because it got ported to Linux that had a reasonably similar VFS 
interface to what other UNIXes did? Personally, I didn't feel that I 
could make that judgment call. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, but it 
clearly is a gray area.

Personally, I think that case wasn't a derived work, and I was willing 
to tell the AFS guys so.

Does that mean that any kernel module is automatically not a derived 
work? HELL NO!"

> And you conveniently deleted the context that disproves this.  From that 
> same link above quoting Linus directly:
>   "...just see module loading as "use" of the kernel, rather than
>    as linking against it."

Again, you are taking two different statements and trying to collapse 
them together to give it a context that does not exist

> That seems pretty direct to me.  And the only interpretation possible 
> knowing Linus was publicly quoted as saying modules 'use' the kernel 
> services.

Like I said, you can repeat this all you want. The facts of the matter 

  * Linus has repeated claimed that the copyright of derivative works 
depends on the specific instance

  * He is not the only copyright holder and others have expressed even 
more strongly their beliefs that modules are derivative work.

  * FSF is not the copyright holder and their views are not relevant to 
a discussion about the Linux kernel

* Historically, the interface between modules and the kernel were weaker 
and one could get away with this argument but that case is much harder 
to make today.

You have clearly been shown to twist facts to the extend of claiming 
that no license other than GPL is compatible with itself and I am not 
willing to argue with you anymore about this. Good luck with your trolling.


More information about the fedora-list mailing list