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

Jesse Zbikowski embeddedlinuxguy at gmail.com
Tue Nov 17 15:17:34 PST 2009

I did in fact ask RMS about this and found his answer extremely
interesting in a very you-had-to-be-there kind of way. In fact I was
strongly reminded of a parable from the Principia Discordia which I
excerpt below:

A serious young man found the conflicts of mid 20th Century America
confusing. He went to many people seeking a way of resolving within
himself the discords that troubled him, but he remained troubled...

His worrying and meditation were disturbed when, as if in a test of
his faith, ordure fell from the second floor onto him. At that time
two people walked into the room. The first asked the second who the
man was sitting there was. The second replied "Some say he is a holy
man. Others say he is a shithead."

Hearing this, the man was enlightened.


On Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 8:17 PM, Michael Shiloh
<michaelshiloh1010 at gmail.com> wrote:
> well, you can ask RMS about this on Monday
> Jesse Zbikowski wrote:
>> 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:
>> http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0312.0/0670.html
>> 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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