Re: Plan to add Linux Kernel Enforcement Statement to SPDX additional permissions list

Bradley M. Kuhn <bkuhn@...>

James Bottomley wrote:
Finally, there's the question of what value does a file containing WITH
KernelEnforcementStatement-1.0 provide to downstream?

I think the answer here is pretty much none in legal terms.
At the beginning here, it seems like you are saying the
LinuxEnforcementStatement-1.0 has no legal significance and is not legally
binding as an additional permissions. I suspect you don't really mean to be
saying that, as it would also mean that other additional permissions granted
for Linux, such as the Linux-Syscall-Note, also have no legal significance.

Later, you point out again that it is indeed an additional permission under

So I think it's a question for the SPDX community to answer whether
codifying this additional permission
It sounded on the SPDX Legal conference call, where I've been told by SPDX
leadership is the correct place for these decisions to be made --
that we had nearly full consensus. The only objector appears to be the
Linux Foundation. Jilayne asked for a coherent legal argument that explained
how the LinuxEnforcementStatement-1.0 is *not* an additional permission under
copyright within a week.

I'd written:
(b) both are not granted by all copyright holders in Linux.
James replied:
Yes: your (b) isn't true for the syscall exception. The syscall
exception has been part of the linux kernel COPYING file since before
revision control history began. Accordingly it applies to every
contribution to the Linux kernel and thus is granted by all copyright
holders and we will continue to maintain this.
Has the Linux project gotten the syscall exception for all code that was
every borrowed from another project under GPL-2.0-or-later and/or
GPL-2.0-only? While that borrowed code is a small minority, it is
copyright-wise signifigant.

* * *

As for Conservancy signing onto the enforcement statement, thanks for
your links, James. We're aware of how to do the process -- it sounded
to me like Mike was unsure that more copyright holders would ever sign on,
so I was offering joint press with the LF as a way to help you all with that.
If you don't feel you need -- if you feel developers are likely to be
inspired to sign on without more publicity -- then it hopefully quells Mike's
concerns that there won't be more copyright holders to sign on, and Conservancy
can just take care of it in due course. In any event, more discussion
about that part of it on spdx-legal is probably drifting to off-topic for
the list, but I'd be glad to pick up a side thread with James and Mike about
doing more publicity about the Linux Enforcement Statement jointly between
LF and Conservancy.
Bradley M. Kuhn

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