Tightening symbol exports
Posted Dec 7, 2007 20:10 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata
In reply to: Tightening symbol exports
Parent article: Tightening symbol exports
Legal stuff isn't black and white. Intent matters. EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL is a declaration of
intent stating that whoever uses that symbol will be assumed to be making a derived work of
the linux kernel.
Intent matters in some things, such as what the parties to a contract intended, or whether a person intended to kill another person. It's meaningless in others, such as whether you intended for your grandfather to leave you money in his will. The intent you describe is in the latter category. An author does not have any say in whether something is a derived work of his work. That's up to legislators.
You just deliberately ignored a statement that certain symbols
were only available to GPL modules, so any infringement was willful
Sure, but is there any copyright infringement? Unless the LKM is a derived work, which is by no means a settled question, there isn't any. And if it is, it's an infringement with or without linking to GPL_ONLY symbols, because GPL does not give you the right to distribute an object-only derived work, regardless of what symbols you use.
fraudulently claimed your module was GPL
Merely lying is not fraud. You have to induce someone to do something, to his detriment and your gain. Whom are you defrauding? The linker?
claimed it was not when it clearly is licensed GPL according to your own code!
The "fraudulently" part suffers from the same misuse of the word "fraud" as above. The "clearly is licensed" is of course related to the 2nd main point from my post above: it's possible, but certainly not clear, that MODULE_LICENSE() effects a copyright license.
courts don't take kindly to
attempts to circumvent other people's rights, regardless of how smart they may sound to you
But that's not a useful statement, since the question in all these cases is what are those other people's rights?
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