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SubjectRe: People, not GPL [was: Re: Driver Model]
On Sat, 13 Sep 2003 10:34:12 -0700 (PDT)
Andre Hedrick <> wrote:
> On 11 Sep 2003, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> > "David Schwartz" <> writes:
> >
> > > The GPL_ONLY stuff is an attempt to restrict use. There is nothing
> > > inherently wrong with attempts to restrict use. One could argue that the
> > > root permission check on 'umount' is a restriction on use. Surely the GPL
> > > doesn't mean you can't have any usage restrictions at all.
> >
> > No the GPL_ONLY stuff is an attempt to document that there is no conceivable
> > way that using a given symbol does not create a derived work.
> Bzzit ... GPL_ONLY stuff is an attempt to retrict usage by removing access
> to the unprotectable API. And for anyone claiming there is not API to
> protect, the kernel source is the manual to the API. The foolish intent
> and design to hide the API has caused the kernel itself to become the
> manual.
> This is even obvious to people, like myself, who are not lawyers.


You seem to be mixing two forms of "use"; the right to use GPL'd source
and the right to use an operational Linux kernel.

You are free to take the source and do whatever you want with it, restricted
only by the terms of the GPL. Other people have the right to do the same.
There is nothing in the GPL that says how a program must behave when
_executing_. Therefore, if you don't like how the resulting executable
operates, _tough_. Your option, and the _freedom_ provided by the GPL,
is to fork the source.

No different than a kernel provided by the Church of Holy Computation
which refuses to operate on Sunday. You may disagree with the
restriction, but surely they are free to add such a restriction to their
kernel source.

As it stands, you are complaining about a _runtime_ restriction; ignoring
your ability to change the source. By insisting that other people remove
checks for license type, you are trying to restrict what others do with
_their_ source. By design, the kernel is already full of runtime restrictions.
There is nothing special about a runtime limitation imposed on modules
lacking the GPL symbol. Just to drive the point home, please consider that there is nothing wrong with a kernel that refuses
to load modules that _DO_ contain the GPL symbol.

In short, fork off...

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