GPL-incompatible kernel modules (Re: Invitation to ubuntu developers)
mdz at ubuntu.com
Tue Nov 28 19:49:34 GMT 2006
On Tue, Nov 28, 2006 at 09:25:00AM +0000, David Hart wrote:
> On Sun 2006-11-26 14:35:42 +0000, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> > 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 http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html 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 what way are non-free kernel modules distributed differently than
> free ones (other than that they come from different repositries)?
Matthew described that in some detail above. They are shipped in an
intermediate form, whereas free drivers are ready to load as shipped.
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