Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 11th May 2014 21:47 UTC

Matthew Garrett:

So, in the face of a technical mechanism designed to enforce the author's beliefs about the copyright status of callers of this function, Oracle deliberately circumvent that technical mechanism by simply re-exporting the same function under a new name. It should be emphasised that calling an EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL() function does not inherently cause the caller to become a derivative work of the kernel - it only represents the original author's opinion of whether it would. You'd still need a court case to find out for sure. But if it turns out that the use of ktime_get() does cause a work to become derivative, Oracle would find it fairly difficult to argue that their infringement was accidental.

Aside from the obvious jab at Oracle for being an untrustworthy company, what I found interesting about this story is how legal concerns have crept all the way down to the very lowest levels of the Linux kernel.

It must be a nightmare to keep track of all this stuff and having to develop Oracle's DTrace for Linux. You can't just have fun coding away creating the best, most efficient, and most optimal code - nope, you have to code the best, most efficient legal workaround.

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RE: Th good kind of legalities
by Jokel on Mon 12th May 2014 05:37 UTC in reply to "Th good kind of legalities"
Member since:

Hmm.. Well the point is not about legal protection but about quality of code.

You know - code that's legally safe, but runs abominable because it can't be optimised to avoid legal loopholes.

This is one of the reasons why software patents are hurting innovation. You have to check every line of code if you are not breaching one of the countless patents. And if you do, you have to "work around" with sub-par code, and if that's not possible you maybe have to dump the whole project. How many nice and innovative software is thrown in the dustbin because of software patents is everybody's guess, but I am absolutely sure it's a lot.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Th good kind of legalities
by zima on Sun 18th May 2014 17:24 in reply to "RE: Th good kind of legalities"
zima Member since:

Actually, I think most software writers do what they like anyway, and hope it will fly under the radar...

Reply Parent Score: 2