Subject: Re: GPL code contamination?
To: Bill Studenmund <>
From: Oliver Korpilla <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 04/24/2005 10:19:23
> On Sat, Apr 23, 2005 at 07:30:00PM +0100, Richard Earnshaw wrote:
> You're right that that could happen (someone put the GPL on code covered 
> by a patent for which they do not have the right to distribute patent 
> access). It would be a very unusual legal situation, as the code would not
> be legally GPL-able. :-)
> Take care,
> Bill

This is all very contrived, though IANAL, too.

What could realistically happen in respect to patents and the GPL, that a
patent holder gave a GPL-compatible patent license or the patent holder
itself released the GPL code, which makes him automatically give a
GPL-compatible patent license away. But this license would only cover that
program the license is for, and the code could not be used as reference
material for any other program. Even that is contrived.

My real issue is really: Is it okay, from an ethical and legal standpoint,
to look at Linux scheduler code for inspiration for NetBSD scheduler code,
especially if this would not be the only inspiration? If you additionally
read papers, excerpts from books, and FreeBSD's SCHED_ULE? 

And, if you'd try to implement something similar and explicitly state it
embodies some principles embodied in Linux code or reference it with a
credit in the code, would that be accessible to the NetBSD community???

With kind regards,
Oliver Korpilla

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