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

    Well said, and I agree with ALL of your statements contained in this
    post. About damn time this was addressed.

    Jeff

    Linus Torvalds wrote:

    >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.
    >
    > Linus
    >-
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    >

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