Re: Why is Nvidia given GPL'd code to use in closed source drivers?

David Schwartz (
Thu, 2 Jan 2003 12:39:47 -0800

>How are the standard interfaces not covered by the GPL?

Surely you aren't arguing that someone can copyright

int open(const char *, int);

Are you?

There's the battle and there's the war. The GPL is the battle. If you argue
that any code that goes anywhere near anyone else's code is a derived work,
you may win the battle by buttressing the GPL, but you will lose the war.

The open source community wasn't the first to use 'int open(const char *,
int)'. If you want to argue that this is an interface that can be
copyrighted, then we're all screwed.

Defending fair use and first sale type doctrines and rejecting shrink wrap
agreements is far more important than defending the GPL.

Using someone else's header file to develop code is *use*, not distribution.
That's what header files are for -- that's how you *use* them, by including
them. If someone wants to substitute more stringent restrictions, then they
can do that by contract.


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