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SubjectRe: Using GPL'd Linux drivers with non-GPL, binary-only kernel
Alan Cox wrote:
> > What if this new-fangled other kernel is open source, but BSD license
> > instead? Would that also anger the kernel developers? (As I suspect
> > a closed-source binary kernel would, even if one could get away with it).
> Then the combined result would be a GPL'd product. You can do that now.
> Add BSD code to GPL and the result comes out GPL.

I disagree - as Pavel said, "if it's running in your kernel's
userspace", the GPL applies only to the thing running in that
"userspace", not to the whole combined machine.

> > Then, you can (a) rewrite everything, using the knowledge you gained
> > from reading the various open source drivers, or (b) just use those
> > drivers, and save a lot of effort.
> The GPL says "you can use them if your final new result is GPL", the BSD
> world says "Hey go do it, just say thanks". Its probably a lot simpler
> to use the FreeBSD code if you don't want a GPL result.

I understand the licensing in unambiguous causes, and I'm not trying
to find loopholes in awkward corners. I'm just observing that, as
closed-source binary modules are de facto accepted (with some funky
rules about which interfaces they can use), the same in reverse
_ought_ to be accepted to the same degree: Linux (and other) GPL'd
modules as satellites around a non-GPL kernel.

> For myself I'd be willing to discuss relicensing code in some cases but
> there is little that has a single author.


-- Jamie

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