Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Mon Jul 21 00:02:04 UTC 2008

Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> >>
>>   "...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

This statement was repeated in other contexts - that's just what google 
popped up first.  Do you really believe that Linus himself did not 
understand exactly the context that this wording applied to?  He said it 
specifically to clarify any doubt about the matter.

> Like I said, you can repeat this all you want. The facts of the matter 
> remains,
>  * Linus has repeated claimed that the copyright of derivative works 
> depends on the specific instance

Close - he said that whether modules are derivative works at all depends 
on the instance - even in the quote I posted.  That is, modules do not 
have to be derivative works.  Of course they could be, perhaps by 
inclusion of other GPL'd material.  They just aren't because they use 
the kernel services - or at least that was the only story in 1995.

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

That's kind of irrelevant to the fact that they may not be.

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

Agreed, but Eben Moglen's opinion should be as well-versed as anyone on 
the topic.  I certainly had no reason to disbelieve it when that was 

> * 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.

I never expected Linux to be one of those products that shipped an 
unusably flawed version and forced you accept different terms to get the 
update to something usable.

> 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.

There is no twisting involved to point out that the 'work-as-a-whole' 
clause of the GPL forces exactly its own terms on all components.  If 
you don't like to talk about that, so be it.

    Les Mikesell
     lesmiksell at gmail.com

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