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SubjectRe: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?
Date
On Wed, 3 Dec 2003, "Linus Torvalds" wrote:

> And in fact, when it comes to modules, the GPL issue is exactly the same.
> The kernel _is_ GPL. No ifs, buts and maybe's about it. As a result,
> anything that is a derived work has to be GPL'd. It's that simple.
> ...
> - anything that has knowledge of and plays with fundamental internal
> Linux behaviour is clearly a derived work. If you need to muck around
> with core code, you're derived, no question about it.


If that is the case, why the introduction of EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL and
MODULE_LICENSE()?

Specifying explicit boundaries for the module interface has legitimised
binary-only modules.
This was the signal to developers of proprietary code that binary-only
modules are tolerable.

Note that I said tolerable, not acceptable. Ref also the 'tainted' flag
("man 8 insmod")
My personal view is that Linux should mandate GPL for all modules in 2.6 and
beyond.

The Kevin Dankwardt article gives an alternative perspective for Linux
embedded use:
http://www.linuxdevices.com/articles/AT5041108431.html
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