Bundling and the GPL
Posted Jun 21, 2006 17:50 UTC (Wed) by khim
In reply to: Bundling and the GPL
Parent article: Harald Welte on the flood of GPL violations
> it does not matter if you are using interfaces or not. If you are bundling two things in one box - they become parts of "collective work".
That's the lawyers' perspective, yes. Because it is much, much easier to talk about bundling than about highly technical questions like whether or not a certain function call is part of a published interface.
Exactly! And when you are talking about law then usual engeenering approach ("let's tackle hard problems first - then simple ones will be resolved automagically") should take a backseat. It's much safer to close simple loopholes - and then you can go further and try close more subtle ones.
Please, please, please at least try to think like "Joe Average" for once. Suppose we are starting from bundling and go from there: first we establish that you can not ship invasive binary modules in the same package as kernel, then we are starting to talk about download scripts and "helpfull instructions", etc. At every stage we are moving from established case where GPL-violation is proven to unknown one. If we'll start from nVidia binary driver (binary blob and open-sourced glue code distributed separately from kernel) and court decides that "it's not GPL violation at all" (quite likely) then you are moving from established case where GPL in not violated to unknown one.
You can be absolutely sure that first approach will give GPL more reach in the end. Because if first approach it looks like GPL-violators are trying one trick after another to circumvent GPL and in second approach it looks like "GPL-zealots" are attacking people in smaller and smaller area.
Is it really so hard to understand ? I'm not saying that we should forget about "derived work" question - I just think it's silly to start with this quite complex question where there are hundreds of less-subtle violators around.
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