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SubjectRe: GPL only modules [was Re: [GIT PATCH] more Driver core patches for 2.6.19]

Well said, and I agree with ALL of your statements contained in this
post. About damn time this was addressed.


Linus Torvalds wrote:

>On Wed, 13 Dec 2006, Greg KH wrote:
>>Numerous kernel developers feel that loading non-GPL drivers into the
>>kernel violates the license of the kernel and their copyright. Because
>>of this, a one year notice for everyone to address any non-GPL
>>compatible modules has been set.
>Btw, I really think this is shortsighted.
>It will only result in _exactly_ the crap we were just trying to avoid,
>namely stupid "shell game" drivers that don't actually help anything at
>all, and move code into user space instead.
>What was the point again?
>Was the point to alienate people by showing how we're less about the
>technology than about licenses?
>Was the point to show that we think we can extend our reach past derived
>work boundaries by just saying so?
>The silly thing is, the people who tend to push most for this are the
>exact SAME people who say that the RIAA etc should not be able to tell
>people what to do with the music copyrights that they own, and that the
>DMCA is bad because it puts technical limits over the rights expressly
>granted by copyright law.
>Doesn't anybody else see that as being hypocritical?
>So it's ok when we do it, but bad when other people do it? Somehow I'm not
>surprised, but I still think it's sad how you guys are showing a marked
>two-facedness about this.
>The fact is, the reason I don't think we should force the issue is very
>simple: copyright law is simply _better_off_ when you honor the admittedly
>gray issue of "derived work". It's gray. It's not black-and-white. But
>being gray is _good_. Putting artificial black-and-white technical
>counter-measures is actually bad. It's bad when the RIAA does it, it's bad
>when anybody else does it.
>If a module arguably isn't a derived work, we simply shouldn't try to say
>that its authors have to conform to our worldview.
>We should make decisions on TECHNICAL MERIT. And this one is clearly being
>pushed on anything but.
>I happen to believe that there shouldn't be technical measures that keep
>me from watching my DVD or listening to my music on whatever device I damn
>well please. Fair use, man. But it should go the other way too: we should
>not try to assert _our_ copyright rules on other peoples code that wasn't
>derived from ours, or assert _our_ technical measures that keep people
>from combining things their way.
>If people take our code, they'd better behave according to our rules. But
>we shouldn't have to behave according to the RIAA rules just because we
>_listen_ to their music. Similarly, nobody should be forced to behave
>according to our rules just because they _use_ our system.
>There's a big difference between "copy" and "use". It's exatcly the same
>issue whether it's music or code. You can't re-distribute other peoples
>music (becuase it's _their_ copyright), but they shouldn't put limits on
>how you personally _use_ it (because it's _your_ life).
>Same goes for code. Copyright is about _distribution_, not about use. We
>shouldn't limit how people use the code.
>Oh, well. I realize nobody is likely going to listen to me, and everybody
>has their opinion set in stone.
>That said, I'm going to suggest that you people talk to your COMPANY
>LAWYERS on this, and I'm personally not going to merge that particular
>code unless you can convince the people you work for to merge it first.
>In other words, you guys know my stance. I'll not fight the combined
>opinion of other kernel developers, but I sure as hell won't be the first
>to merge this, and I sure as hell won't have _my_ tree be the one that
>causes this to happen.
>So go get it merged in the Ubuntu, (Open)SuSE and RHEL and Fedora trees
>first. This is not something where we use my tree as a way to get it to
>other trees. This is something where the push had better come from the
>other direction.
>Because I think it's stupid. So use somebody else than me to push your
>political agendas, please.
> Linus
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