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Re: module license taints kernel.

From: David Schwartz
Subject: Re: module license taints kernel.
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2007 12:28:22 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

On Dec 3, 7:28 am, J de Boyne Pollard <>

> No.  What is required in order to run a work distributed as source
> code is _compiliation_, from source code to machine code.

If you compile without linking, you'll be left with an object file,
which you can't execute. Ordinary use of a work distributed as source
code requires compiling and linking, whether it's an application or a

> This falls
> within the CDPA's definition of "translation" for computer programs
> (right there in the very same section of the Act), which in turn is
> considered to be "adaptation" of that work.  Whether linking, in order
> to adapt the object code to operate in conjunction with other object
> code, is further adaptation is not spelled out by the Act, but it
> should be clear that there's a case to be made that it is.

I'm not an expert on this particular law, but if it doesn't exempt
ordinary use from being considered an adaptation, it's hopelessly
broken. There's always a possibility that the law is hopelessly
broken, but I doubt it.

Ordinary use of a work must never require special permission or a
license or you have something *very* different from copyright. In
fact, my recollection is that this very law has a "necessary step" or
"ordinary use" exemption. At minimum, section 21(4) exempts
"translation" that is necessary to run the program. It doesn't appear
that any of the "adaptation" rules apply to computer programs.


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