LGPL was never at risk
Posted Oct 3, 2008 20:31 UTC (Fri) by khim
In reply to: Plugging into GCC
Parent article: Plugging into GCC
Copyright starts with books. Think about this situation: Alice hates Bob (they had disagreements in the past) and so grants everyone permission to publish her poems ONLY if Bob's poems are not included in the book. Is it reasonable? May be, may be not. But it's Alice's sole discretion if she want to relax these requirements or not. That's the situation LGPL talks about: if you want to publish my poems you MUST make sure they are not mashed up with your poem to such a degree that it's impossible to separate them. Now plugins is different story altogether: Bob is not sitting idle and he creates book which is intended to complement Alice's creations (commentary or "my view on our differences"). This book DOES NOT include Alice's work at all - just a few small snippets here and there (allowed by fair use). Can the Alice say anything at all? Probably not: her work is not under the cover - why she must have any power over that creation?
Or in other words: nVidia is a nasty company - but it DOES NOT violate copyright when it distributes nVidia binary drivers. These drivers don't include code from Linux and so are clearly not a derived work. Canonical, on the other hand, clearly LOST it's right to distribute Linux kernel when it included these same drivers on CD - if you view just letter of GPL. Of course kernel developers clearly tolerate such transgressions (GPL Violations won many battles over GPL non-compliance but not once they tried to force this issue) and this will be considered by court if the developers will decide to sue Canonical...
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