Re: GPL vs non-GPL device drivers

From: Jan Engelhardt
Date: Fri Feb 16 2007 - 06:42:33 EST

On Feb 16 2007 10:44, Jon K Hellan wrote:
> Xavier Bestel wrote:
>> On Thu, 2007-02-15 at 21:48 -0800, v j wrote:
>> > We only get crap because no one here yet knows how to interpret
>> > proprietary modules loaded into the kernel.
>> The proprietary modules where only a tiny wrapper is linux-specific and
>> the rest is cross-platform are in a grey area, yes.
>> But your modules, written specifically for linux but distributed as
>> binary-only, are specifically what the people choosing the GPL want to
>> avoid. They are a derivative work, and are, as such, illegal under the
>> GPL.
> If they are a derivative work, they are illegal under the GPL. However, it is
> not clear that their being written specifically *for* Linux is sufficient to
> make them derivative works *of* Linux.

Who knows, perhaps there's a public domain interface that wraps linux
kernel function calls into bsd functions, so you can always "successfully"
argue the source code is not only for Linux. However, I think that precompiled
.ko files are _much more_ tied to Linux (in short, supporting your point) plus
a specific architecture.

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