[kwlug-disc] Wordpress themes must be GPL

Andrew Kohlsmith (mailing lists account) aklists at mixdown.ca
Tue Jul 27 16:40:57 EDT 2010


On Tuesday, July 27, 2010 03:53:54 pm Ralph Janke wrote:
> The kernel is GPL, but the runtime stuff comes with gcc and is
> LGPL. I am not sure about the kernel headers, but obviously we
> have proprietary kernel modules, hence it must be LGPL.

The kernel clearly identifies itself as GPL, not LGPL.

From Wikipedia:
"The Linux kernel is released under the GNU General Public License version 2 
(GPLv2)"

The footnote for that statement is a link to the COPYING file in the Linux 
kernel source, which clearly states GPLv2.

Wikipedia goes on to say that kernel maintainers (doesn't mention who) are of 
the opinion that kernel modules are derived works. The FSF says that they are, 
but Linus seems to say "sometimes." Linus has also made it clear that binary-
only kernel modules are fine with him.

The kernel does have provision to export symbols (APIs and data structures) to 
GPL or OSS-friendly-only licensed kernel modules, and some developers have 
taken advantage of that.

There's a collection of Linus' various mailing list posts which state his 
opinion and reasoning more clearly:
http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Kernel/proprietary-kernel-modules.html

It's interesting that his viewpoint seems to be pointed more toward drivers 
that truly are multi-OS; If a module is built FOR the kernel only, then he 
seems to feel that they should be GPL.

But no, the kernel itself is certainly not LGPL.

-A.




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