[linux-dvb] [Em28xx] MPL-licensed V4L kernel modules (em2880)

Johannes Stezenbach js at linuxtv.org
Wed Jul 11 15:20:37 CEST 2007

On Wed, Jul 11, 2007, Markus Rechberger wrote:
> On 7/10/07, Trent Piepho <xyzzy at speakeasy.org> wrote:
> > On Tue, 10 Jul 2007, Markus Rechberger wrote:
> > > Stop that MPL discussion, I can put that code offline too and update
> > > it with some probably nonfunctional code for several devices but it
> > > won't help anyone in the end - so I won't do it.
> > > I don't want my work to be stolen by linuxtv people in the end. It's
> >
> > It's funny you should say this, since 99% of the code you are distributing
> > came from linuxtv in the first place!
> Trent, I believe you're smart enough to see the problem behind
> everything .. the license stuff is the smallest part of everything;
> I don't steal and obfuscate code and remove the copyrights.
> And I for sure will not tell anyone how he has to do his work after a
> discussion where I didn't seriously participate.
> The code as it is will get removed sooner or later and replaced with a
> smaller package which only contains the necessary drivers.
> I wonder what you try to gain by bothering about the license there all
> you can win is the removal of the code there and the release of the
> replacement of the around 80% finished reworked code. So please stay
> serious and better try to fix the community problems that something
> like that won't happen again.

I wonder what you mean by "I don't want my work to be stolen by
linuxtv people"?

You had your code up for download on linuxtv.org and then on mcentral.de
for months, and you asked lots of people to download and test it, which
IMHO clearly is "distribution under the GPL".

So everyone who downloaded it has every right granted by the GPL
to modify and redistribute your code under the GPL, which implies
it could be merged it into the main linuxtv.org tree and eventually
the kernel. Of course it doesn't make sense to merge unsupported code
(which even has known issues wich need to be resolved first), however if
someone would adopt it I see no (legal) reason for not merging it.

Maybe you don't like this to happen, but IMHO all the
people who downloaded and tested your code, and contributed
back in form of bug reports, hardware information, patches etc.
wouldn't have done so if they had known that your code would
not be merged into the mainline kernel. Some people might even
have bought hardware after they read though your Wiki pages,
under the impression that it was well supported by Linux.

Of course you are free to do whatever you like with the
code written by you, but everyone else is free to do
what the GPL permits them with the code distributed by
you under the GPL.


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