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    SubjectRe: GPL only modules [was Re: [GIT PATCH] more Driver core patches for 2.6.19]

    On Wed, 13 Dec 2006, Greg KH wrote:
    > Numerous kernel developers feel that loading non-GPL drivers into the
    > kernel violates the license of the kernel and their copyright. Because
    > of this, a one year notice for everyone to address any non-GPL
    > compatible modules has been set.

    Btw, I really think this is shortsighted.

    It will only result in _exactly_ the crap we were just trying to avoid,
    namely stupid "shell game" drivers that don't actually help anything at
    all, and move code into user space instead.

    What was the point again?

    Was the point to alienate people by showing how we're less about the
    technology than about licenses?

    Was the point to show that we think we can extend our reach past derived
    work boundaries by just saying so?

    The silly thing is, the people who tend to push most for this are the
    exact SAME people who say that the RIAA etc should not be able to tell
    people what to do with the music copyrights that they own, and that the
    DMCA is bad because it puts technical limits over the rights expressly
    granted by copyright law.

    Doesn't anybody else see that as being hypocritical?

    So it's ok when we do it, but bad when other people do it? Somehow I'm not
    surprised, but I still think it's sad how you guys are showing a marked
    two-facedness about this.

    The fact is, the reason I don't think we should force the issue is very
    simple: copyright law is simply _better_off_ when you honor the admittedly
    gray issue of "derived work". It's gray. It's not black-and-white. But
    being gray is _good_. Putting artificial black-and-white technical
    counter-measures is actually bad. It's bad when the RIAA does it, it's bad
    when anybody else does it.

    If a module arguably isn't a derived work, we simply shouldn't try to say
    that its authors have to conform to our worldview.

    We should make decisions on TECHNICAL MERIT. And this one is clearly being
    pushed on anything but.

    I happen to believe that there shouldn't be technical measures that keep
    me from watching my DVD or listening to my music on whatever device I damn
    well please. Fair use, man. But it should go the other way too: we should
    not try to assert _our_ copyright rules on other peoples code that wasn't
    derived from ours, or assert _our_ technical measures that keep people
    from combining things their way.

    If people take our code, they'd better behave according to our rules. But
    we shouldn't have to behave according to the RIAA rules just because we
    _listen_ to their music. Similarly, nobody should be forced to behave
    according to our rules just because they _use_ our system.

    There's a big difference between "copy" and "use". It's exatcly the same
    issue whether it's music or code. You can't re-distribute other peoples
    music (becuase it's _their_ copyright), but they shouldn't put limits on
    how you personally _use_ it (because it's _your_ life).

    Same goes for code. Copyright is about _distribution_, not about use. We
    shouldn't limit how people use the code.

    Oh, well. I realize nobody is likely going to listen to me, and everybody
    has their opinion set in stone.

    That said, I'm going to suggest that you people talk to your COMPANY
    LAWYERS on this, and I'm personally not going to merge that particular
    code unless you can convince the people you work for to merge it first.

    In other words, you guys know my stance. I'll not fight the combined
    opinion of other kernel developers, but I sure as hell won't be the first
    to merge this, and I sure as hell won't have _my_ tree be the one that
    causes this to happen.

    So go get it merged in the Ubuntu, (Open)SuSE and RHEL and Fedora trees
    first. This is not something where we use my tree as a way to get it to
    other trees. This is something where the push had better come from the
    other direction.

    Because I think it's stupid. So use somebody else than me to push your
    political agendas, please.

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