Invitation to ubuntu developers

Matthew Garrett mjg59 at
Sun Nov 26 14:35:42 GMT 2006

On Sat, Nov 25, 2006 at 10:53:07AM +0000, David Hart wrote:

> He's completely wrong about circumventing the GPL.
> Taken from Section 2 of is the
> following:

(snip GPL)

> The Ubuntu distribution is an aggregation of software.

Many (most, in fact) of the upstream kernel developers hold that kernel 
modules are inevitably derived works of the kernel, and therefore must 
be released under a GPL-compatible license. In Ubuntu, we attempt to 
avoid that issue with a technicality - non-free kernel drivers are 
shipped as independent object files, which are then linked at boot time. 
As a result, we don't break the license, since the boot-time linking is 
use rather than distribution.

In theory, anyway. If non-free kernel modules are a violation of the 
letter of the GPL, then what we're doing is pretty clearly a violation 
of (at least) the spirit. It's certainly won us no friends in the 
upstream kernel community.

Matthew Garrett | mjg59 at

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