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SubjectRe: Must modules be GPL'ed?

(Reasons why someone wants to keep their device driver module binary/non-GPL):

Reason #6:
Stick to this kernel. A supplier of a heart-lung machine or an
industrial robot normally have a service contract with (or at least
a service liability to) the customer. Thus the supplier wants the
customer to use a kernel version that is thoroughly tested (with this
particular hardware and this particular device driver).
When it is time to upgrade, the supplier will send the customer
a new kernel and a new binary device driver module. (And normally
it is the service personnel of the supplier that does the upgrade.)

Admittedly this reason is not applicable to the vast majority of device
drivers, but I find it to be very legitimate. Of course this reason
is often combined with other reasons like "very smart hardware".

Tom Bjorkholm MYDATA automation AB
tel: +46 8 629 09 00 Karlsbodavagen 39
fax: +46 8 629 09 09 S-161 70 Bromma, Sweden

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