[sf-lug] Potential GPL violation, with the potential intent to victimize our Elderly loved ones

Jesse Zbikowski embeddedlinuxguy at gmail.com
Fri Nov 13 16:16:54 PST 2009

On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 11:09 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:
>> It is OK for non-free software to depend on and connect to free
>> software... however if they are so tightly connected as to form a
>> single program, as in the combination of a kernel with modules, then
>> the resulting single program is a derived work.
> That's not really it.

Correct, I am not attempting to recapitulate Linus' argument about
aggregation, but advancing a separate point, which is: this distro is
OK under GPL because the non-free Eldy software is not tightly coupled
with GPL'd components such as the Linux kernel. Assuming Eldy is a
standalone program in its own right, such that we could easily swap
out Linux and run it on BSD or Windows, that's a good indication it is
NOT derived from Linux. If Eldy were more tightly coupled in the sense
that it "has knowledge of and plays with fundamental internal Linux
behaviour" then we can make an argument that it IS derived from Linux:


In the first case we have what the GPL calls an "independent and
separate work" which does not require source disclosure; whereas in
the second case we would view Linux as the "base work" and Eldy as an
"elaboration" of it.

Again this is just my own interpretation; clarifications to my
thinking are always welcome.

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