Support for drivers in user space
Posted Sep 14, 2006 15:05 UTC (Thu) by gwg
In reply to: Support for drivers in user space
Parent article: Support for drivers in user space
Something that seems to be overlooked most of the time in these
discussions, is that the GPL applies to "work based on the Program",
and there are more types of such work that just derived work.
Another sort of work is a collective (or compilation) work.
GPL and non-GPL code doesn't have to be linked in any way to
both be part of a collective work. The point for discussion
in such cases is whether placing the GPL and non-GPL work
together, forms a collective work or not. One criteria for
deciding this might be the same one used to decide whether
a collective work qualifies for copyright protection,
ie. does it have authorship in the selection, co-ordination
or arrangement of its parts.
For a work to be a collective work, I don't think that it
is even necessary for the parts to be on the same media -
it's only necessary that the parts be supplied by the same
party, and be intended to work together, showing that there
is authorship in the selection, co-ordination or arrangement of
the parts (ie. consider the analogy in literature of a book
anthology being delivered in separate volumes).
If a user mode driver is arranged to work with the kernel
(and there would need to be authorship in the arrangement,
selection and co-ordination of the user and/or kernel parts
to achieve that), then surely if it is supplied with the
intention of running with GPL code supplied by the same
party, it forms a collective work, and the whole must be
licensed under the GPL.
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