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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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