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    SubjectRe: Developing non-commercial drivers ?
    Thanks for the prompt respons.

    I do agree that it would be better for everyone to release it under
    GPL and I have already expressed that to our customer.

    At this point I feel that we have two possibilities, help our customer
    violate GPL or say no to the project. I'd prefer a third option where
    I could tell the customer that we can setup the project in a certain
    way (some "cleanroom" setup ?) to ensure that the results can not be
    considered derived work.

    Is your short answer also the definite answer considering this ?


    2008/11/18 Robert Hancock <>:
    > Fredrik Markström wrote:
    >> Linus, others...
    >> I'm working for as a consultant for a large hardware company porting
    >> Linux to their new cpu-architecture and everything is pretty much
    >> up and running. Now they want us to develop a closed-source (to
    >> protect their IP) ethernet driver for their proprietary Ethernet MAC.
    >> My question is: Is there a fair way to do this and still comply to
    >> the intent and spirit of the Linux licensing ?
    >> If yes, how ?
    > In a word, I would say: no.
    > When developing a non-GPL kernel driver, one finds themselves on very shaky
    > legal ground. Unless one is 100% sure their code is not legally considered a
    > derived work from the kernel, it's likely a GPL violation.
    > One could point out the pile of other Ethernet drivers in the kernel from
    > the likes of Intel, Broadcom, etc. and ask why those companies did not feel
    > the need to "protect their IP" in this manner.. as well as the significant
    > advantages of having their driver in the mainline kernel, and the horrible
    > disadvantages of trying to manage closed-source drivers..
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