LinuxQuestions.org
Visit Jeremy's Blog.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - General
User Name
Password
Linux - General This Linux forum is for general Linux questions and discussion.
If it is Linux Related and doesn't seem to fit in any other forum then this is the place.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 03-03-2011, 06:36 AM   #1
tatanna
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2008
Posts: 9

Rep: Reputation: 0
Android Apache License and GPL 2 licenses compatibility


if Apache license 1 and 1.1 are not compatible with GPL v2 and GPL v3 and the only compatibility is Apache License v2 with GPL v3 how can android kernel be GPL v2 and userspace programs be Apache License 2???
More specifically GPL v2 requires all derived works and programs to have the same license as it has, therefore Apache shouldn't be allowed inside android..

I've read on a website something like "Google created one middle layer between Linux kernel, without violating GPL, and 3rd party canít see the source code of hardware driver and app" and then "So in oder to get more vendor support, Google specifically modified Linux Kernel, transfer those features which should belong to Kernel, to its userspace source."

The above seems vague explanation, even if you put a middle layer this middle layer becomes GPL and anything above as well..

Hope someone can explain this to me or give me possible hints.
Thanks
 
Old 03-03-2011, 10:44 AM   #2
stress_junkie
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04 and CentOS 5.5
Posts: 3,873

Rep: Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331Reputation: 331
People have generally taken a broad view toward what may or may not be installed on a Linux system. That is why restricted hardware drivers are allowed. If Linux were truly restricted to using only GPL software then it would have less chance of gaining market share.

A restriction that is not enforced is like not having the restriction.
 
Old 04-06-2011, 11:59 AM   #3
dcarrera
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2011
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by tatanna View Post
if Apache license 1 and 1.1 are not compatible with GPL v2 and GPL v3 and the only compatibility is Apache License v2 with GPL v3 how can android kernel be GPL v2 and userspace programs be Apache License 2???
More specifically GPL v2 requires all derived works and programs to have the same license as it has, therefore Apache shouldn't be allowed inside android..
A program running on top of an operating system is not a "derived work" of the operating system.

The GPL v2 does not, and *cannot* make the absurd restriction that merely running a program on top of a GPL operating system requires the program to be GPL. First, the restriction is obviously absurd. Second, it is well outside the scope of copyright law (and the GPL is a copyright license). Copyright law refers to *copying* a work, which includes making derivatives.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tatanna View Post
The above seems vague explanation, even if you put a middle layer this middle layer becomes GPL and anything above as well..
No. Running something on top of a GPL program does not make it a derivative work. Think about it. By writing a program you are not automatically copying someone else's work, much less modifying it.

Consider another scenario: You use MS Office to write a letter. Is your letter a derivative work of MS Office? Microsoft has a copyright over MS Office and you do not have a copyright license for MS Office. You are completely forbidden from copying MS Office in whole or in part, in any way manner or form. Does that mean that you are not allowed to write your letter? Clearly that is absurd.

When you write a letter, you do not copy a chunk of MS Office. When you write a program, you do not copy a chunk of the operating system.

Hope that makes things clearer.

Daniel.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 04-06-2011, 12:19 PM   #4
dcarrera
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2011
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by stress_junkie View Post
People have generally taken a broad view toward what may or may not be installed on a Linux system. That is why restricted hardware drivers are allowed. If Linux were truly restricted to using only GPL software then it would have less chance of gaining market share.

A restriction that is not enforced is like not having the restriction.
This is utter nonsense.

The FSF and the Linux kernel team take their licenses very seriously, as do most open source projects. A copyright license on an operating system has absolutely no power to limit what programs you can run on the operating system, nor does the GPL try to reach to such absurd lengths.

The GPL is a copyright license and as such, it only covers things that one could consider derivative works. The issue with linking to a software library or using a kernel driver is tricky because different people will disagree on whether these things constitute a derivative work.

Using a software library probably does constitute a derivative work. The FSF certainly takes the view that it does. The argument is that when you link your program to a library, part of that library actually goes into your program and your program is tied to that library to make a new joint work. That's why there are libraries like the LGPL, which explicitly allow this type of linking without requiring that the linked program be released as LGPL.

The issue with drivers is similar, but more tricky. In a very real sense, a driver is tightly bound to the kernel. A kernel driver is compiled as part of the kernel, similar to a library, and you can argue that the result is a single joint object which falls under the range of copyright law. Other people disagree with this and opine that a driver is an object of its own, and not affected by the copyright license of the kernel. The only way to really settle this issue would be to go to court over it and have a judge decide whether writing a kernel driver constitutes a derivative work or not.



Notice how all this discussion is *very* far away from your suggestion that running a program on top of an operating system should be covered by the GPL. I'd like you to take a few moments to think about the absurdity of this. Consider this: Linux is not the only operating system with a copyright on it... *EVERY* *SINGLE* operating system has a copyright on it... That includes Windows and Mac OS for example... Microsoft has a copyright on Windows. If running a program on Windows constitutes making a derivative work that can be covered by copyright law, then Microsoft would have copyright claims over every single freakin program running on Windows... Microsoft would be able to sue Adobe for making Photosop. They could sue Mozilla for making Firefox. They could sue Skype, Kazaa, IBM, and everyone who has ever written a program that runs on Windows.

Do you see how absurd this is? Well, this is the implication of thinking that running a program on top of an OS is an action covered by copyright law.

Daniel.
 
Old 04-06-2011, 12:26 PM   #5
dcarrera
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2011
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 1
Deleted (duplicate).

Last edited by dcarrera; 04-06-2011 at 12:27 PM.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LXer: Last of the GPL Licenses Goes to Version 3 LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 11-20-2007 12:50 AM
GPL license pangfai Linux - General 4 05-08-2006 06:23 AM
LXer: GPL 3: Pre-Release Buzz Centers on Patents, License Compatibility LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 01-14-2006 11:16 AM
GPL License - Is this OK? photoguy123 Linux - General 1 11-07-2005 06:13 PM
QT to be released under the GPL license jeremy Programming 4 03-16-2005 03:39 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:33 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration