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    SubjectRe: incorrect taint of ndiswrapper
    On Wed, 2006-10-25 at 21:30 +0100, Alan Cox wrote:
    > Ar Mer, 2006-10-25 am 16:11 -0400, ysgrifennodd Pavel Roskin:
    > > I don't see any legal reasons behind this restriction. A driver under
    > > GPL should be able to use any exported symbols. EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL is a
    > > technical mechanism of enforcing GPL against non-free code, but
    > > ndiswrapper is free. The non-free NDIS drivers are not using those
    > > symbols.
    > The combination of GPL wrapper and the NDIS driver as a work is not free
    > (in fact its questionable if its even legal to ship such a combination
    > together).

    So, the problem is on the legal side.

    But I have to ask - which NDIS driver? I can write a free NDIS driver
    and use it with ndiswrapper. You can say it's a stupid thing to do, but
    once you talk about the legality, the only argument should be
    legal/illegal. Besides, it may be a not such a bad idea for a ReactOS
    developer writing a ReactOS driver to test it with Linux.

    Also, nothing should prevent me from combining ndiswrapper with any
    Windows driver in the privacy of my home as long as I don't distribute
    anything. GPL doesn't have use restrictions (although the driver may
    have an EULA).

    Since the problem is with USB symbols, I can split the USB part from
    ndiswrapper and call it ndiswrapper-usb. Then ndiswrapper-usb will be
    calling the GPL-only symbols while ndiswrapper will be loading the
    non-free modules. Good luck catching that! It's actually a change that
    makes sense technically. Imagine what a change specifically intended to
    fool Linux would do!

    I don't see how the kernel can detect the cases where GPL is actually
    violated without creating problem for honest users. Kernel code is not
    a police department, let alone a court of law. Let's not create out own
    DRM right in the kernel!

    Companies that ship ndiswrapper with non-free modules may be breaking
    copyright laws already. But it's not something that should be fought by
    kernel patches.

    Pavel Roskin

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