Re: GPL vs non-GPL device drivers

From: Martin Mares
Date: Fri Feb 16 2007 - 03:36:27 EST


> Assuming these need not be GPL, I have a problem with
> EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL and the general trend in the direction of making
> proprietary drivers harder on companies.

Most kernel developers did always say they don't agree with proprietary
drivers, don't want to support them and that they are convinced such
drivers are illegal. And according to the language of the GPL and the
copyright law, it's quite possible they really are illegal (although
a court _might_ rule that the modules are not a derived work of the
kernel). Even with all that, you still decided to distribute such
modules. What you are complaining about?

> So why beat about the bush? Just make it illegal to load proprietary
> drivers, or remove EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL.

The point is that it's impossible to make it illegal (although many of
the authors of the kernel would like to) -- the point is that if kernel
modules aren't derivative works of the kernel, the kernel license cannot
control them.

Have a nice fortnight
Martin `MJ' Mares <mj@xxxxxx>
Faculty of Math and Physics, Charles University, Prague, Czech Rep., Earth
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