Thursday, December 14, 2006

RIAA and Linux Kernel, Linus delivers it straight

Responding to a statement;
"> Numerous kernel developers feel that loading non-GPL drivers into the
> kernel violates the license of the kernel and their copyright. Because
> of this, a one year notice for everyone to address any non-GPL
> compatible modules has been set."

Linus Torvalds has responded in a lengthy message. Although written because of a discussion of restricting Non-GPL drivers, it applies to most of the projects that are open source.
I will just state some of the Linus' statements that most appeals to me and will redirect you to the article. If you are intersted, then you can follow rest of the thread, which carries some gems like;
Bellyfull of fish
Penguins laying under the moon
Dreaming of wings to fly.

Back to Linus;
"The silly thing is, the people who tend to push most for this are the
exact SAME people who say that the RIAA etc should not be able to tell
people what to do with the music copyrights that they own, and that the
DMCA is bad because it puts technical limits over the rights expressly
granted by copyright law."
"The fact is, the reason I don't think we should force the issue is very
simple: copyright law is simply _better_off_ when you honor the admittedly
gray issue of "derived work". It's gray. It's not black-and-white. But
being gray is _good_. Putting artificial black-and-white technical
counter-measures is actually bad. It's bad when the RIAA does it, it's bad
when anybody else does it."
And lastly;
"There's a big difference between "copy" and "use". It's exatcly the same
issue whether it's music or code. You can't re-distribute other peoples
music (becuase it's _their_ copyright), but they shouldn't put limits on
how you personally _use_ it (because it's _your_ life).

Same goes for code. Copyright is about _distribution_, not about use. We
shouldn't limit how people use the code."

All his statements are very true and drawing a line is hard for developers and thinkers as well. If you think you are confused, I do not even know why I even wrote this post!

Linus' responses to restricting Linux kernel

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