Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 23rd Jul 2009 09:43 UTC
Microsoft Sometimes, some things are just too good to be true. Earlier this week, Microsoft made a relatively stunning announcement that it would contribute some 20000 lines of code to the Linux kernel, licensed under the GPL. Microsoft isn't particularly fond of either Linux or the GPL, so this was pretty big news. As it turns out, the code drop was brought on by... A GPL violation.
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RE[6]: Didn't require release
by TemporalBeing on Mon 27th Jul 2009 21:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Didn't require release"
TemporalBeing
Member since:
2007-08-22

Apparently you did not read my post thoroughly. They did own 100% of the code. However, as soon as they link it to the kernel, it is "derived work" of the kernel. There is where they loose the right to dual-license: They are not allowed to link Non-GPL licensed code to the kernel.

That is, effectively, what they call the 'viral' effect. I don't mean it negatively. I use GPL for my software myself.


The GPL does prevent you from licensing other people's code under a different license. However, it does not prevent you from licensing your own code with more than one license.

That is - you can take a GPL produce, add an extension to it, and the extension itself be dual licensed so long as no one else's GPL code is dual licensed.

Thus, the GPL is NOT viral.

So Microsoft and anyone else CAN dual license the source they are putting into the Linux Kernel if they like - it has to have the GPL to be compatible with the Linux Kernel, and any code that only they own - code that is not tainted by any GPL code they do not own - can be dual licensed.

It is to their advantage to dual license? Not necessarily, but the GPL does give them that freedom to do so. The key is ownership, and proving that what you are dual licensing is not under a single license from someone else - that you own it all and have the ability to do that.

If the GPL forbid dual licensing in that nature, then all dual licensing with the GPL would be forbidden, and we know that is not the case.

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