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* 2.6 kernel header licensing.
@ 2004-05-20  5:56 Rob Landley
  2004-05-20  8:45 ` Arjan van de Ven
  2004-05-23  8:22 ` Rob Weir
  0 siblings, 2 replies; 3+ messages in thread
From: Rob Landley @ 2004-05-20  5:56 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: linux-kernel; +Cc: torvalds, Mariusz Mazur

I'm using Mariusz Mazur's kernel headers package to compile my C library 
against, and I asked him what the license on his package was.  He said it's 
derived from the 2.6 kernel, so the license is whatever's on the 2.6 kernel.

That's the GPL.

This means that even though these are cleaned up kernel headers with kernel 
internal stuff stripped out, and designed to compile a userspace C library 
against, there's a license conflict if I use the resulting C library to 
compile anything but GPL software.  Technically, if I use them to compile BSD 
software with the advertising clause, I can't distribute the result.  The 
three P's (Perl, Python, and PHP) are right out.

Now I'm fairly certain this was not the intent.  And I could probably make a 
case in court that the intent of header files is to provide an external API 
to compile against, so the userspace portions of the kernel headers are 
pretty much by definition an external interface boundary that the GPL's terms 
won't cross.  (They define the boundary; that's what they're for.)

But I'd really rather just get this resolved politely now.

Would anybody on linux-kernel like to venture an opinion about whether the 
license on Mariusz's Mazur's kernel headers package could be changed to LGPL 
instead of GPL?  (Since that's what the LGPL is, in point of fact, for.  And 
for years the glibc people have been grabbing kernel headers and blithely 
using them to create an LGPL product with nobody complaining, and in fact 
before uclibc you couldn't have a functional linux kernel sysem without it, 
so there's a de facto license of some sort anyway that it would be nice to 
make explicit.)

The kernel headers in question can be found here:

http://ep09.pld-linux.org/~mmazur/linux-libc-headers/

Linus?  Anybody?

-- 
www.linucon.org: Linux Expo and Science Fiction Convention
October 8-10, 2004 in Austin Texas.  (I'm the con chair.)


^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 3+ messages in thread

* Re: 2.6 kernel header licensing.
  2004-05-20  5:56 2.6 kernel header licensing Rob Landley
@ 2004-05-20  8:45 ` Arjan van de Ven
  2004-05-23  8:22 ` Rob Weir
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 3+ messages in thread
From: Arjan van de Ven @ 2004-05-20  8:45 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Rob Landley; +Cc: linux-kernel, torvalds, Mariusz Mazur

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> Would anybody on linux-kernel like to venture an opinion about whether the 
> license on Mariusz's Mazur's kernel headers package could be changed to LGPL 
> instead of GPL?  

you cannot do that without the (written) permission of all contributors,
which makes that severly impractical.

However, if those headers are strictly datastructures, your library
compiled against those does not contain code from those headers, eg it's
just interface definitions. Eg as long as you don't use inlines or large
#define's that generate code you're basically ok afaics (but IANAL). 
Now if you want to (re)distribute those headers with your package, the
GPL again applies to the files of course.

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 3+ messages in thread

* Re: 2.6 kernel header licensing.
  2004-05-20  5:56 2.6 kernel header licensing Rob Landley
  2004-05-20  8:45 ` Arjan van de Ven
@ 2004-05-23  8:22 ` Rob Weir
  1 sibling, 0 replies; 3+ messages in thread
From: Rob Weir @ 2004-05-23  8:22 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Rob Landley; +Cc: linux-kernel

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On Thu, May 20, 2004 at 12:56:40AM -0500, Rob Landley said
> software with the advertising clause, I can't distribute the result.  The 
> three P's (Perl, Python, and PHP) are right out.

Perl and Python are under GPL-compatible licenses.

-- 
Rob Weir <rweir@ertius.org> | mlspam@ertius.org  |  Do I look like I want a CC?
Words of the day:    argus cryptographic AVN 64 Vauxhall Cross SRI Elvis Centro

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^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] 3+ messages in thread

end of thread, other threads:[~2004-05-23 15:43 UTC | newest]

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2004-05-20  5:56 2.6 kernel header licensing Rob Landley
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