Comment K8W0 Re: patches


GRSecurity Linux Kernel patch to end public accessability of stable patches.


patches (Score: 1)

by on 2015-09-02 00:54 (#K56Q)

they produce patches, not redistrib. linux. its their code, and patch, and thus should be able to do what they want, no?

that aside, im upvoting because the full version of the story sounds quite interesting. they themselves are tired of seeing GPL violations, among other complaints, leading to their decision

Re: patches (Score: 1)

by on 2015-09-02 02:00 (#K5A1)

Patches are necessarily derivative code, so covered by the license.

However the GPL never said you have to make your code freely available to the public. It's just that once you give it out, you can't stop anyone else from redistributing it, if they want to.

Re: patches (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2015-09-02 14:14 (#K731)

>It's not in violation of any spirit either, as there's nothing that says they have to give you their things, as copyright holders.

Their work is a derivative work.

The contributors to linux very likely intended that any derivative works also be distributed. If any contributor to linux intended this, there may very well be an unwritten clause in the contract which exists between the parties, part of which exists in the form of the document you know as a "copyright license" (WTF did you think it was? A royal patent?). Rarely does a court decide a dispute of this sort solely on the four corners of a document. Only when the document is wholly integrated does that occur.

I don't see those words there in the GPLv2. (Even if those words exist, action taken by the parties can be used as evidence against this, if the court allows the evidence of such to be presented).

Re: patches (Score: 1)

by on 2015-09-03 00:08 (#K8VX)

just to clarify, would a patch not be a derivative work until actually applied to licensed code? on its own its just code, (EDIT: retracted, this statement made sense: "When the second
work makes sense only in light of the original, it's derivative.")
and owned by the author. they don't have to release publicly.

And even if said-patch does infact fall under GPL, the GNU-GPL FAQ makes it clear that you can sell modified versions of GPL code to a client and not release publicly, and its up to the client whether they want to keep the modified version internal, or release it. The only thing that forces public source release, is to likewise distribute any part in any form, to the public.

If that client were to release the modified version, they would need to supply the source, but if kept internally, then no. By requiring a subscription or contract, i'd imagine thats the loop hole that allows private sale/distribution without violating the gpl (if i'm understanding that correctly.) It sounds like this company is ensuring paid-clients are supporting their efforts, while preventing every other company from doing a drive-by-only download instead. It sounds more than reasonable. In the end, the code is still going to make it to the public, eventually.

Re: patches (Score: 1)

by on 2015-09-03 00:15 (#K8W0)

this would make for a good public discussion, if anyone else would like to up-vote? my feelings still are that the bigger story is the one presented by the company, and not the claim that said-company could be violating the gpl; although commentary for both would be interesting.

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