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    SubjectRe: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?

    Hello Linus,

    Linus Torvalds wrote:
    > Similarly, historically there was a much stronger argument for things like
    > AFS and some of the binary drivers (long forgotten now) for having been
    > developed totally independently of Linux: they literally were developed
    > before Linux even existed, by people who had zero knowledge of Linux. That
    > tends to strengthen the argument that they clearly aren't derived.
    > In contrast, these days it would be hard to argue that a new driver or
    > filesystem was developed without any thought of Linux. I think the NVidia
    > people can probably reasonably honestly say that the code they ported had
    > _no_ Linux origin. But quite frankly, I'd be less inclined to believe that
    > for some other projects out there..

    Since the last time this was mentioned, I have been thinking that this
    argument can really be read as an invitation to do just what's being
    described: first implement a driver/module in a non-Linux OS (this may even
    imply requiring that whoever works on the driver/module have NO Linux
    experience whatsoever; yes there will always be candidates for this) and then
    have this driver/module ported to Linux by Linux-aware developers.

    Sure, one could argue about "intent", but that's going to be really
    difficult, especially if the right-hand doesn't know what the left-hand
    is doing. IOW, can't this position be abused as much as, if not more
    than, publishing an "approved" set of characteristics for non-GPL modules?

    Just thinking aloud,

    Author, Speaker, Developer, Consultant
    Pushing Embedded and Real-Time Linux Systems Beyond the Limits || || 514-812-4145

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