Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jan 2006 14:11 UTC, submitted by Jack
Linux "Companies using Linux for embedded applications may be unwittingly violating the Linux license and even breaking federal securities laws, according to a research published by Wasabi Systems. According to the study, the problem lies with the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that companies disclose ownership of intellectual property to their shareholders. The study indicates that dozens of companies are discovered each year to have violated the terms of GPL, and if they are public companies, they are violating Sarbanes-Oxley."
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RE: GPL Scope
by rayiner on Thu 19th Jan 2006 21:10 UTC in reply to "GPL Scope"
rayiner
Member since:
2005-07-06

The two cases you listed ae fairly concrete examples. Putting GPL and proprietory components on a common flash image is merely amalgamating two existing works, and is thus not a derivative work (since neither original work is modified). It's just like selling three different books as a single set --- if you have the license to distribute each book, you have the license to distribute them as a set.

Closed source modules are also fairly clear. Linking a binary module against the kernel modifies both the kernel and the binary module, and the result is a derivative work of both.

That aside, your point about the fuzziness of "derivative work" is well-taken. However, your wrong in saying that the GPL needs to better define it. The GPL has no legal standing to define "derivative work". The definition must be figured out from copyright law and precedence. The GPL is a copyright license, and can only govern what happens when you try to distribute a deriviative work --- it cannot tell you, in a legally binding manner, what constitutes a deriviative work.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: GPL Scope
by dsmogor on Thu 19th Jan 2006 23:13 in reply to "RE: GPL Scope"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

If that's the case, the excerpt I later brought is at best redundant and misleading and at worse potentially selfcontradicting.

Reply Parent Score: 1