Re: GPL vs non-GPL device drivers

From: Chris Friesen
Date: Fri Feb 16 2007 - 01:07:39 EST

v j wrote:

KH has gone and made the basic sysfs interface, which any generic
driver could use as EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL.
...The point is that old functionality is being ripped
off and new ones introduced, and their interfaces are not open
anymore. keep using the word "open". What definition are you using? Because the new implementation is licensed under the GPL, which is an "Open Source" license. By definition, this means that it is "open".

What I see you saying is that the interfaces are more restrictive than before. This is true.

However, if you are confident that you are abiding by the terms of the GPL then there is nothing stopping you from patching the kernel to convert the EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL to just EXPORT_SYMBOL. The _GPL version is just a hint as to the intent/opinion of the designer.

The flip side of that is that using only items exported via EXPORT_SYMBOL doesn't make you automatically compliant to the GPL. You could still be infringing if the module is legally considered a derivative work of the kernel.

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