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    SubjectRe: Binary only module overview

    Crispin wrote:

    > We have a Schrodinger's Cat problem of whether the courts will
    > eventually rule that modules are derivative works of the kernel. There
    > are two cases here. Either:
    > * Binary modules are permitted by the kernel's GPL: if this is the
    > case, then Greg's comment is invalid, and misleading.
    > * Binary modules are not permitted by the kernel's GPL: if this is
    > the case, then Greg's comment is redundant, and just marking the
    > file "GPL" is sufficient.

    This is the most concise explanation of the problem so far.

    I don't like binary security modules, and I won't use them nor
    write them, because that's my desicion to make. Whether they
    are legal or not is not. It's all there in the GPL for well
    paid lawyers to determine. It doesn't seem that there's any
    benefit to adding to the existing licensing terms -- it all
    boils down to which of the two above cases is true.

    > IMHO, in neither case is the special language appropriate. This file is
    > GPL'd, and we should stop playing lawyer by trying to interpret what
    > that means.
    > If you (Greg, Alan) are confident that your interpretation of the GPL is
    > correct, then just marking the files as GPL should be sufficient. What
    > purpose is served by saying anything else?


    I wouldn't mind any 'We heartily suggest/prefer' wording, just let's
    not get into anything legal or restrictive or the license could become
    internally contradictory and make it more difficult to prosecute
    GPL infractions. (Where there are two different ideas in this
    group about what constitutes an infraction...)

    I always assumed that the LSM was to be treated no differently than
    existing modules -- LKMs may be close source. It was never said
    otherwise anywhere when this project was formed. Changing (ahem,
    clarifying) it at this stage of the game is a bad thing.

    Had I been able to contribute actual code to this project
    (the days never are long enough, are they) I'd have more
    of a direct say. Taking an approach like 'oh, X of Y
    developers say one thing, now that we asked' is not a fair
    way to make desicions. Though many on this list have not
    contributed code, they have made comments and suggestions
    which were used by the primary coders. Perhaps we should
    take a grand survey of everyone and see what they think,
    since they all had some input, if not output, into the
    code as it stands? No, that's even worse.

    The LSM code is GPLd. That was a stated requirement from day one.
    Nothing else was. Leave the interpretation of binary module
    acceptibility/nonacceptibility to the GPL and the lawyers, that's
    not our job.

    Brian Hatch e ^ (i*pi) = -1
    Systems and
    Security Engineer

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