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GPL violations in Android: Same arguments, different day

[ Thanks to Amy
Bennett
for this link. ]

“To create the headers within Bionic Google cleans the Linux
kernel header files of any comments or content that might be
considered copyrightable works, using automated scripts. The only
thing that remains in the Bionic library are standards-based
constants, macros, and type definitions that many in the software
development/legal arena consider facts, because they’re not doing
anything, they’re just telling applications ‘here’s how to
interface with the kernel.’

“In other Linux distros, glibc is used for this interface job
and even though it is licensed under the Lesser GPL, application
developers can use it to their hearts’ content without fear of
having their own works fall under the LGPL because the Linux kernel
developers have said (many times) that they don’t regard glibc as a
derived work, so deep interfacing with it will not mean software
using it will in turn have to be licensed under the kernel’s
GPLv2.

“But Naughton isn’t buying that argument. He maintains that
Google isn’t completely removing copyrighted material from the
header files, so their methodology is flawed. He dismisses the
arguments made by several commentators–including me–that this
cleaning is complete and even if it weren’t, the Linux kernel
header files as a whole are not copyrightable, so an incomplete
cleaning problem is moot.”


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