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From: Nicholas A. Bellinger <nab <at> risingtidesystems.com>
Subject: Re: scsi target, likely GPL violation
Newsgroups: gmane.linux.scsi.target.devel
Date: Thursday 8th November 2012 20:05:11 UTC (over 5 years ago)
On Thu, 2012-11-08 at 08:57 -0800, Andy Grover wrote:
> On 11/07/2012 05:57 PM, Chris Friesen wrote:
> > On 11/07/2012 07:02 PM, Jon Mason wrote:
> >> I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but if
> >> I understand the GPL correctly, RTS only needs to provide the relevant
> >> source to their customers upon request.
> > 
> > Not quite.
> > 
> > Assuming the GPL applies, and that they have modified the code, then
> > they must either:
> > 
> > 1) include the source with the distributed binary
> > 
> > or
> > 
> > 2) include with the binary an offer to provide the source to *any*
> > party
> So you'd have me find one of their customers, and then get the source
> via your #2 method...
> ...and then turn around and submit it to Nick since he's the target
> subsystem maintainer? Nick is probably the one who wrote it!
> I'm happy to do that, but we should recognize something is seriously
> skewed when the person nominally in charge of the in-kernel code also
> has a vested interest in *not* seeing new features added, since it then
> competes better with his company's offering.
> RTS is trying to use an "open core" business model. This works fine for
> BSD-licensed code or code originally authored entirely by you, but their
> code (all of it even the new stuff) is a derivative work of the Linux
> kernel source code, and the GPL says they need to contribute it back.


Accusing us of violating GPL is a serious legal claim.  

In fact, we are not violating GPL.  In short, this is because we wrote
the code you are referring to (the SCSI target core in our commercial
RTS OS product), we have exclusive copyright ownership of it, and this
code contains no GPL code from the community.  GPL obligations only
apply downstream to licensees, and not to the author of the code.  Those
who use the code under GPL are subject to its conditions; we are not.

As you know, we contributed the Linux SCSI target core, including the
relevant interfaces, to the Linux kernel.  To be clear, we wrote that
code entirely ourselves, so we have the right to use it as we please.
The version we use in RTS OS is a different, proprietary version, which
we also wrote ourselves.  However, the fact that we contributed a
version of the code to the Linux kernel does not require us to provide
our proprietary version to anyone.

If you want to understand better how dual licensing works, perhaps we
can talk off list.  But we don’t really have a responsibility to respond
to untrue accusations, nor to explain GPL, nor discuss our proprietary

We’re very disappointed that Red Hat would not be more professional in
its communications about licensing compliance matters, particularly to a
company like ours that has been a major contributor to Linux and
therefore also to Red Hat’s own products.  So, while I invite you to
talk about this with us directly, I also advise you – respectfully –
to make public accusations that are not true.  That is harmful to our
reputation – and candidly, it doesn’t reflect well on you or your

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