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    SubjectRe: GPL vs non-GPL device drivers
    On Thursday 15 February 2007, v j wrote:
    >So far I have heard nothing but, "if you don't contribute, screw you."
    >All this is fine. Just say so. Make it black and white. Make it
    >perfectly clear what is and isn't legal. If we can't load proprietary
    >modules, then so be it. It will help everybody if this is out in the
    >clear, instead of resorting to stupid half measures like
    From this observers view, a long one over most of a decade, and a believer
    in the GPLv2 since its was v1, it seems to me that you are missing the
    point entirely with your use of the term 'legal'.

    This definition seems to be a bit like nailing jelly to a tree in that so
    far only one companies legal dept has pursued this to the point of
    actually getting a court verdict rendered. That was the German ruling a
    link was given to earlier in this thread(s).

    Everyone else, and there have been many who tried, rattling all sorts of
    legal swords at first, changed their mind once their legal people had a
    chance to sit down and explain to them what their chances of winning in
    court against the GPL were given the limited precedence of legal opinion,
    have eventually taken the cheaper way out and complied with the terms of
    this license. No one here in the states has been willing to spend the
    legal money to establish once and for all by the rendering of a court
    decision, which then becomes quotable case law, while knowing up front
    that their chances of prevailing, while not impossible, are indeed quite

    Now, if you would like to make a precedent setting "legal definition" of
    what is or is not legal to do with GPL'd code, then hire the lawyers and
    go to court with your case.

    There is no one to my knowledge here, who would not cheer loudly once a
    verdict was rendered because that courts decision would give the FOSS
    community a quotable case law as to exactly what is, and is not legal for
    you to do with GPL'd code. We would after 16+ years of the GPL, finally
    have a firm, well defined line drawn in the sand, a precedence in US case
    law that at present, only exists in Germany.

    I'm a bit like Clint Eastwood here, do you feel lucky? If not, then
    please comply with the terms of the software you have chosen to base your
    product on. As you have been told here repeatedly, a distribution to
    your customers of code that is based on the GPL'd kernel headers does
    bring you into non-compliance with the terms of the GPL. You can do
    anything you want in house, but the minute that code ships, that is
    a "distribution" and the GPL applies in full force in that its all made
    GPL, or you cannot legally ship it. I don't know how it can be said any
    plainer than that. But of course IANAL, so talk to yours, please.

    Cheers, Gene
    "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
    soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
    -Ed Howdershelt (Author) and AOL/TW attorneys please note, additions to the above
    message by Gene Heskett are:
    Copyright 2007 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.
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