Subject: Re: Firmware and kernel image compression
To: David Laight <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 09/17/2002 13:21:24
[ On Tuesday, September 17, 2002 at 12:14:17 (+0100), David Laight wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: Firmware and kernel image compression
> >      No, they aren't.  Copyrights do not prevent cleanroom
> > implementations; however, patents could.
> However a 'cleanroom' implementation has to be done from
> documentation that is in the public domain (or some such
> definition).  Using GPL source code isn't...

The source code can also be treated as documentation.  It's harder for
most programmers to re-express an algorithm without violating source
code copyright once he or she has read the original source, but it can
be done and I'm sure there's even case law in multiple international
jurisdictions by now which would uphold what I've said, though IANAL and
I have only the vaguest recollections of this having happened.

(and of course software/algorithm patents are not universal -- they
still only protect the very idea itself in certain jurisdictions where
they have been granted)

								Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098;            <>;           <>
Planix, Inc. <>; VE3TCP; Secrets of the Weird <>