Re: If loadable modules are covered by Linux GPL?

From: Matt D. Robinson (
Date: Tue Aug 29 2000 - 18:22:57 EST

Mike Coleman wrote:
> "Richard B. Johnson" <> writes:
> > Even M$ doesn't require that I give proprietary information away.
> > If Linux wants to become the new standard for the computing industry,
> > GPL or whatever can't claim any ownership of the work a company
> > has done while using it.
> This almost seems like a troll. We who write GPLed software don't claim
> ownership of other's work--we just specify the conditions under which the
> others can use *our* work. What's wrong with that? Are you saying we should
> just give our work away to you with compensation at all? You Communist! ;-)

The GNU GPL is reasonable, but ...

I would re-iterate the need for a clear definition as to how to add
proprietary functionality into the kernel without violating the GNU GPL.
The syntax and inclusion issues I mentioned in my previous post (along
I'm sure many others I left out) need to be addressed. The document
doesn't need to be complex; it just has to be clear and concise enough
for people to use as a guideline. Modules, drivers, system calls,
include files, memory subsystem replacements, whatever.

I can imagine many people are wary of extending the Linux kernel's
functionality for fear that including their code might potentially lead
to GNU GPL violation, inevitably leading to license, royalty or patent
problems. And I'm sure most people want to do the right thing, but
don't have the luxury of exploring every possible violation simply for
the sake of a change or two in a kernel subsystem. This is particularly
concerning for cross-license issues between people and/or companies.

... or am I way off-base here?

--Matt (who writes GPL'd software)
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