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Re: Can linux kernel claim it uses GPL v2?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Can linux kernel claim it uses GPL v2?
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2006 20:19:17 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux) writes:

>> > Can glibc work without linux kernel?
>> See <URL:>.
> All it says is that it can work with only GPLed kernels.
> Well, on
> you can find ports to AIX or some others not GPL kernels.
> Question: glibc was developed at first on what? Linux kernel?

Nope.  libc existed before Linux.

> And if so, then it was running only on one kernel with only one
> license, so shouldnt it be GPLed at the time?

Linux was written to the preexisting POSIX specification.  Writing a
library to a preexisting standard does not make the library a
derivative of some kernel implementing that standard.

>> >> That does not help in itself.  Creating an artificial API does
>> >> not create an independent work abstraction as long as the
>> >> library remains the only actual implementation of that API.
>> >>
>> > I tried to point it out during OpenGl example, probably wrong way.
>> > There is an API (well documented) for library and there are two or
>> > more libraries using the API. One is GPL licensed and the rest
>> > not. The product doesnt have to be a GPL licensed.
>> >
>> > Personally I think this falls under "If identifiable sections of that
>> > work are not derived from the Program,.." text from section 2, but
>> > anyway:
>> > True/False?
>> Uh what?
> I am giving parallel example to glibc working on different kernels with
> different licenses.
> Program can use one of different OpenGl implementation with different
> licenses.

I am afraid that both your case as well as the question appear so
confused that it is not even possible guess what you mean here.

>> > Actually what I said here few post back was that there is no technical
>> > difference between calling syscall and library.
>> > Function problem is same in both cases: glibc wont work w/o kernel and
>> > program w/o library. You say the difference is that kernel is
>> > implementing standard API (POSIX and SYSTEM V.. not really sure), while
>> > library is using some API intended only for this library.
>> > Correct?
>> Depends on library in question, system call in question and other
>> stuff.  If a system call is used for manipulating a Linux-specific
>> in-kernel data structure, things might possibly be viewed differently.
>> However, the kernel license NOTE would make it hard for Linus to press
>> this in court without getting an estoppel defense.
> Sorry, could you be more specific on "Depends on library in
> question..."


David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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