Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Tue Jul 22 02:14:42 UTC 2008

Alexandre Oliva wrote:

>> Aren't you obligated by accepting this license to observe its terms
>> which explicitly extend to the work-as-a-whole?
> You're not even required to accept the license.  Even if you do, it
> grants you certain permissions over the whole and every part of it,
> but it doesn't take away any other permissions you may have or receive
> over the whole or any part of it.

I can't find that exception.

>> Please do explain how you can accept a license, then subsequently
>> ignore the terms.
> You're not ignoring them.  Remember, there aren't restrictions in it.
> It says "you can do X, Y and Z".  It doesn't say "you can't do A or
> B", it just refrains from saying you can, and copyright law says you
> can't.  But if you have obtained permission to do A or B, nothing in
> the GPL stops you from doing just that.

I don't think you are talking about the GPL here.  You may have the 
right to redistribute those portions that are separately available under 
no-GPL terms, but if you've agreed to the GPL terms covering that copy, 
you have agreed not to, except under the GPL terms and per section 2b:

    "You must cause any work that you distribute or publish,
     that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the
     Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at
     no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License."

Yes, you may not have to accept the GPL if you only redistribute parts 
where other licenses permit it, but that's an unlikely loophole.

>> No, I always understood the fact that modules are not necessarily
>> derived works and they simply 'use' the system interface as permitted
>> by the Linux license.
> The "and" appears to be conflating two separate issues.  They may be
> related, but they're not the same.

There has never been a clear definition of what constitutes a 
work-as-a-whole or makes it a 'derived work'.  A common interpretation 
is everything that runs together in one process space, but the kernel is 
a special case since it typically encompasses the memory space of all 
running programs.  So, you need special rules to determine what is/isn't 

   Les Mikesell
    lesmiksell at gmail.com

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