UAPI syscall exception interpretation

Valdis Kl=?utf-8?Q?=c4=93?=tnieks valdis.kletnieks at
Fri May 13 22:00:36 EDT 2022

On Wed, 11 May 2022 21:19:42 -0000, Muhammad Ali said:

> Does the Linux-syscall-note say that a.out can ALL be under any license of
> your choice?

> Or do you have to note that your binary is under License X and also includes
> code which is under license GPL-2.0-WITH-Linux-syscall-note?

Not a lawyer, but... :)

For any program that's big and complex enough that you aren't embarrassed to
distribute it, the kernel isn't going to be your problem, because down in the
details, your code is probably not issuing syscall() itself, but is letting
glibc or musl or whatever the cool kids are using this week do the syscall.

So what you need to worry about is the license on glibc or whatever... and also
the license on any *other* libraries that you use (you're not going to write
your own JSON parser or other stuff like that, are you?).

In particular, understand the difference between GPL and LGPL licenses.  There's
also a lot of other userspace licenses in play - as an example on my laptop, I have:

[~] for i in `rpm -qa`; do rpm -qi $i | grep ^License; done | sort | uniq -c > /tmp/licenses
[~] wc /tmp/licenses
  304  2397 14912 /tmp/licenses
[~] more /tmp/licenses
      3 License     : (ASL 2.0 or MIT) and (BSD and MIT)
      1 License     : (Artistic 2.0 or ASL 2.0) and MIT
      1 License     : (Copyright only) and (Artistic or GPL+)
      1 License     : (Copyright only) and (GPL+ or Artistic)
      2 License     : (FTL or GPLv2+) and BSD and MIT and Public Domain and zlib with acknowledgement
      1 License     : (GPL+ or Artistic) and (GPLv2+ or Artistic) and MIT
      1 License     : (GPL+ or Artistic) and Artistic 2.0 and UCD
      3 License     : (GPL+ or Artistic) and BSD
      1 License     : (GPL+ or Artistic) and BSD and HSRL and MIT and UCD and Public domain
      1 License     : (GPL+ or Artistic) and CC0
      1 License     : (GPL+ or Artistic) and CC0 and Public Domain
      1 License     : (GPL+ or Artistic) and FSFAP
(and so on for another 300-ish lines..

And as Greg noted, if the answer actually matters, hire a lawyer who is experienced
in  intellectual property law.

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