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Why does the patch use ifdef statements

Why does the patch use ifdef statements

Posted May 5, 2009 14:55 UTC (Tue) by southey (subscriber, #9466)
Parent article: Long discussions about long names

The patch uses a lot of ifdef statements so does that mean that the code to create the long names still present in the code?

If so, then what is the point since under the GPL you will have to distribute the code that appears to violate the patent anyhow?


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Why does the patch use ifdef statements

Posted May 6, 2009 17:13 UTC (Wed) by nhippi (subscriber, #34640) [Link]

You don't violate patents by copying or distributing. You violate patents by using the patented method (commercially). Thus if the object code doesn't implement the patented method, you can still distribute the sourcecode (that you don't compile).

This is why the lame mp3 encoder is distributed source-only by upstream.

IANAL and all the other disclaimers.

Why does the patch use ifdef statements

Posted May 9, 2009 21:03 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

You violate patents by using the patented method (commercially).

You also violate patents by making or selling a device that uses the method. And the use doesn't have to be commercial.

The point is that if I sell you a GPS device that can read VFAT, I need a license for any patents that cover VFAT.

I don't even think ifdefs are necessary. Anything that prevents the VFAT code from running is probably just as effective at making VFAT patents irrelevant. But a kernel build configuration option might make a manufacture more confident that he isn't accidentally violating a patent.


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