SmartOS (based on IllumOS) released - with KVM
Posted Aug 16, 2011 12:11 UTC (Tue) by pboddie
In reply to: SmartOS (based on IllumOS) released - with KVM
Parent article: SmartOS (based on IllumOS) released - with KVM
Because it's far from clear that a kernel should be legally considered a derivative work of some module that you build for it.
You have to work back from the objectives of the GPL to understand what the licence is trying to do. The aim of the GPL is to have a software system whose complete code exhibits the property of offering the four freedoms. When the licence talks about a derived work, it attempts to use established terminology to entertain the possibility that a piece of software integrated with another comprises a system that, like the GPL-licensed portion, should provide those four freedoms.
(Note to the usual people complaining about the FSF "forcing" people to pick their licence: the consequence is that the "other" portion of such a system need only be available under a compatible licence, and the author of that work need only care about the matter if they are doing the combining, anyway. Thus, the Solaris people can just say, "No, you're not supposed to do that - stop it!")
That's why someone pointed out that choosing one's own definition or understanding of "derived work" doesn't necessarily get anyone off the hook. It's very possible that someone interpreting the licence could arrive at an interpretation that suggests a more far-reaching definition, unless some explicit exception has been stated by the GPL-licensed work's authors.
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