[Tutor] Regarding licensing GPL terms
carroll at tjc.com
Thu Feb 1 02:53:08 CET 2007
On Wed, 31 Jan 2007, Anup Rao wrote:
> I am writing an application that uses a python libary (a *.so file)
> generated using SWIG.
> This library makes direct system calls to the Linux kernel.
The Linux kernel is not actually licensed under the standard GPL. The
copy of the GPL Linus releases it under includes the following very
NOTE! This copyright does *not* cover user programs that use kernel
services by normal system calls - this is merely considered normal use
of the kernel, and does *not* fall under the heading of "derived work".
(There's a little more, but none relevant to your question.)
This means that your program is not, solely by virtue of making these
calls, a derived work, subject to the GPL inheritance (a more neutral word
> This raises three questions.
As I read it, the answers are:
> a> Does this mean that the library must be distributed under GPL terms?
No. You can distribute it under any license you like, unrestricted by the
> b> Can I distribute it as LGPL?
Yes. You can distribute it under any license you like, unrestricted by
(I'll skip on the PSF-license question, because I haven't read it in a
Now, the standard disclaimer: Yes, I am a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer,
so don't take this as definitive legal advice. If this is a critical
issue for you on which you have substantial money riding, get a lawyer who
will grille you for all possible material facts that could perhaps result
in a different answer.
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