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SubjectRe: [RAPIDLY MOVING OFF-TOPIC] GPL and binary only drivers [once again] [was: Re: [ANNOUNCE] Withdrawl of Open Source NDS Project/NTFS/M2FS forLinux]
On Mon, 4 Sep 2000, Henning P . Schmiedehausen wrote:

> If I give you a binary-only module which can either be loaded as a
> driver or, maybe with some glue code, linked into the kernel and some
> instructions how to do this, I am _not_at_all_ in violation of any
> GPL. Because I distribute only my code under my license. If you follow
> my instructions and link a kernel and use it, you're not in violation
> of GPL because you don't distribute anything.

Not necessarily. Promise uses kernel headers in their beta binary only
driver for their stupid raid card's raid support. This makes them a direct
violator of the GPL. They also require a glue patch to go into the kernel
to make their loadable module work and ship a .o to be linked in as well,
so not only is Promise violating the GPL but anyone who ships their driver
is too as well.

The situation with M-systems might be similar.

It all would be *SO* much easier if Linus has not made the
'clairification' that binary modules are permitted.

> If you follow the instructions _and_ distribute the result, then you're in
> violation. So your point is moot.
> Yes. But not before. And _I_ am violating the GPL, not M-Systems.
> Their licensing scheme just makes it for me impossible to distribute a
> product with their driver. But that's _my_ problem not the problem of
> M-Systems.

Now, come on.. Thats silly. They are telling people to violate the GPL,
and not even mentioning this 'little' detail. Thats not right. In the US,
contributory copyright infringement is illegal too.. (not that I think
much about IP laws...)

You can't claim that M-systems shouldn't be accountable. They have been
told multiple times about the error of their actions.

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