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    From
    SubjectRe: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?
    Date
    In article <1070979148.16262.63.camel@oktoberfest>,
    Dale Whitchurch <dalew@sealevel.com> wrote:
    | A question for this thread:
    |
    | Is the GPL in effect for the kernel so that anybody can enhance the
    | current drivers and add support for any other device? If two companies
    | develop competing products and those products (albeit a few slight
    | differences) perform the same operations using almost the same hardware,
    | do we want one company to use the others driver?

    If company A writes a driver which is not GPL it doesn't concern the
    Open Source community. Not even if it's open source but proprietary.
    Yes, dual license exists, I don't think that changes things here.

    If company A writes a GPL driver company B may modify it as long as
    they release source.

    If company B offered the modified driver for kernel inclusion,
    there's a high probability one of the penguins would tell them to fold
    the changes into the original module and make it dual-purpose (unless
    there were a LOT of changes).

    Company B could decline and ship the GPL driver with their hardware,
    source and a binary loadable module included. Given the hassle factor I
    bet they wouldn't. Nvadia must be really tired of getting every problem
    related to a tainted kernel.

    | In another sense, does the kernel evolve to reflect this? If the
    | overall driver acts the same minus a few hardware differences, does the
    | kernel source change by abstracting the similarities and allow both
    | companies to write the device specific code? Does it instead say that
    | both cards must have independent source code? Or do we only allow the
    | first driver into the source tree?

    Once GPL'd the choices are clear, it could be separate or added
    functionality on a technical basis, no need for one policy to fit all.
    |
    | There are no evil overtones in this email, nor any disgruntled developer
    | feelings. I am just reading at this thread and asking myself, "Is the
    | overall goal for everyone to get along?"
    |
    | Dale Whitchurch
    |
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    --
    bill davidsen <davidsen@tmr.com>
    CTO, TMR Associates, Inc
    Doing interesting things with little computers since 1979.
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