[volunteers] Licensing, copyright violation
rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri May 4 18:40:47 PDT 2012
In recent comedy news, here:
>> At which point damned the rules for they have no teeth.
> Oh really?
> Copyright violation concerning software has no business consequences?
> Good luck with that.
Herewith, some reality therapy, relevant to the very amusing claim from
our resident bipolar, that open source licensing has no teeth legally,
in a recent Alan Cox post to the Linux kernel mailing list. Item
discussed is proprietary EMC Powerpath software that EMC had caused to
make illegal use of Alan Cox's kernel code, apparently with help from a
rather misguided Red Hat, Inc. engineer.
Snitzer suddenly stopped posting after the quoted response, so perhaps
he's had a good talking-to from corporate counsel.
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2012 23:20:43 +0100
From: Alan Cox <alan at lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
To: linux-kernel at vger.kernel.org
Subject Re: [PATCH v2] [SCSI] scsi_dh: change scsi_dh_detach export to EXPORT_SYMBOL
Mike Snitzer <snitzer at redhat.com> wrote:
> > The kernel is GPL, all derived works of a GPL codebase are required
> > to be GPL. There is no magic rule about modules. I've stated that
> > repeatedly for anything containing a line of code I own. GregKH has
> > made it very clear for his code, and so it goes on.
> This isn't about adding Linux functionality to a proprietary driver.
Let me quote back your previous message
"Allow a proprietary non-GPL multipath driver, like EMC
PowerPath, to detach a scsi_dh using scsi_dh_detach."
what part of that isn't about proprietary drivers.
> If Linux is masking SCSI sense that Powerpath needs to see in order to
> function then they need a way to shut off that conflicting
> functionality in Linux. What they have enjoyed until now is that
> Linux has treated them with kid gloves -- by not always attaching
> scsi_dh to each SCSI device during SCSI device scan.
They can submit the powerpath code to the GPL kernel and it can get
dealt with nicely.
> > I'm dying to see anyone make the moral argument for it too.
> I think you're blinded by some innate violent pain reaction to seeing
No. I'm just reminding you and Red Hat that the kernel is subject to the
GPLv2 licence and that adding/removing _GPL from a symbol doesn't
magically allow you to use proprietary modules as you claim.
> As I said in the header, Linux's ability to properly support scanning
> LUNs with multiple paths has been fragile for _years_ purely because
> we never had the balls to always attach the scsi_dh which enables
> Linux to work well. We didn't because of fear that we'd break
Thats unfortunate. You mean your company has been intentionally leaving
the Linux kernel poorer for the sake of dubious proprietary code ?
You might want to stop digging, or at least use a spade not an
> As a result, Linux has suffered (in the form of reduced
> functionality). Now your arguing that the because scsi_dh_detach()
> will become EXPORT_SYMBOL it somehow makes PowerPath a derived work if
> they were to
I suspect it is already a derived work, but right now that's their
problem. You are making it yours as well.
> The two other people (scsi_dh maintainers) that Acked-by this change
> work for companies other than EMC. James is the SCSI maintainer and
> understands what is going on here. Like me, they are domain experts.
> What are you?
I'm a rights holder. Domain expertise isn't relevant here. The code I
provided is licensed under the GPL. Whether the symbol is EXPORT_SYMBOL
or EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL any derivative code (eg code that requires the
kernel be modified to match it) cannot call it.
I'm recommended by my lawyer to always remind people of this when such a
claim is made. It ensures that triple damages for wilful infringement
will apply unless the other party can show it reviewed the situation
carefully and its appropriately qualified legal staff reached a
Obviously what action you take is up to Red Hat's legal (and PR) folks.
However I'd suggest you talk to them first, as per Red Hat training
unless that has changed..
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