For Approval: GPLv3

Rick Moen rick at
Thu Aug 16 19:48:53 UTC 2007

Quoting Chris Travers (chris at

> I think you misunderstand me.  It is not that the proprietary blob 
> becomes derived, but rather that the combination of the non-derived 
> proprietary blob and the GPL software in combination with the bridge may 
> (particularly under the GPL v2) might be considered to be a "new" work 
> as a whole (beyond mere aggregation) [...]

I think there may be some confusion, here.

Derivative work is a term of art in copyright law.  GPLv[23] cannot
regulate the scope of copyright coverage (that being defined by law),
and can only embody the licensor's conditions for third parties'
creation and distribution of whatever the _law_ judges to be derivative

Thus, if a proprietary blob is implemented with a driver in a fashion
that's alleged to violate the copyright of the driver's (or OS's)
copyright owners, then that is a judicable question of fact that in the
USA would be settled using the conceptual test the 2nd Circuit developed
in CAI v.  Altai.

The above is true regardless of the licensing, and without regard to
whether the code in question is stored in a software blob or inside a
firmware ROM -- and it has nothing whatsoever to do with whether
particular license are OSD-compliant or not.

OSI doesn't exist to fix people's licence-compatibility problems
(though OSI and participating commentators may give tips on that
matter), nor to fix their software-packaging problems.  It just
certifies software licences as OSD-compliant or not.

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