Subject: Re: Firmware and kernel image compression
To: David Laight <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 09/17/2002 13:14:53
[ On Tuesday, September 17, 2002 at 11:08:55 (+0100), David Laight wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: Firmware and kernel image compression
> > I realize that this package is GPLed, and I do not intend to put GPLed
> > code in the kernel.  I will clone the decompression engine and provide
> > a non-GPLed version.
> > 
> > Does anyone have (useful, constructive) comments on this before I do
> > it?
> > 
> Yes - you break the copyright!

No, he wouldn't -- that's not how copyright law works.

> If (and I'm not sure you can) escape the GPL license by recoding,
> you cannot escape the copyright (on the algorythm) that way.

The copyright on the algorithm can only protect the actual work which
expresses the algorithm, not the idea of the algorithm itself.  You'd
need a software patent to do that.  Ideas are free under copyright -- it
is only the distribution of a given expression of them that can be
protected by copyright, and since the whole idea of GPL is to make even
the expressions freely available, a GPL-style copyright on the document
describing the algorithm can only make it easier to reimplement.

								Greg A. Woods

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