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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Blacklist binary-only modules lying about their license
Marc Boucher wrote:
> Chris,
> people should, before insulting us publicly or make unsubstantiated
> claims that we "lie" or engage in "illegal" actions, perhaps consult a
> lawyer, and simultaneously use the opportunity to enquire about the
> meaning of "slander".

The C string library considers a null to terminate the string. You added a null after the "GPL".
It appears to me that this is telling the kernel that the module is licensed as "GPL", even though
it is obvious to a person reading the source that it isn't. If someone is given the precompiled
binary, short of disassembling it or doing research online there is no way for them to know that it
is not licensed under the GPL, as all the module tools, and the kernel itself, all interpret the
license string as GPL.

> I repeat, the \0 is purely a technical workaround, done without any
> mischievous intent.

I'm sure it was in fact done without mischievous intent. An argument could be made, however, that
by inserting the null character you are in fact telling the kernel that the entire module is GPL'd,
which is obviously not the case. In addition to that, you are forcing the tainted message to be
suppressed. Regardless of whether this caused any developer time to be wasted, the fact remains
that it *could* have.

> We didn't try to hide anything since
> the code containing the workaround is open-source, and we even explained
> back in February the purpose of this workaround on the public hsflinux
> mailing list, while suggesting that a patch should be sent to
> effectively take care of the problem. I even apologized to Rusty for not
> sending that patch ourselves.

I understand that now that this has been brought up on the main kernel mailing list that you are
trying to fix it in a way that is acceptable to the kernel dev team. I just think it is unfortunate
that you shipped code with this workaround in it rather than finding some other way of accomplishing
what you were trying to do.


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