[ubuntu-uk] Non-GPL Linux Kernel Modules Banned Starting January 2008 (??)

Pat evilcorporation at gmail.com
Thu Dec 14 20:33:06 GMT 2006

On 14/12/06, alan c <aeclist at candt.waitrose.com> wrote:
> Non-GPL Linux Kernel Modules Banned Starting January 2008
> I note Linus' response which I find a bit reassuring, but I do hope
> the more 'common' end of common sense can prevail, particularly in ubuntu!
> --

I'm in two minds about this issue.

For one point, I think that the GPL is the strength of Linux. Without
it, we would never be where we are now - and it worries me about how,
every year, more and more of my system becomes closed-source.

Originally it was just the nvidia/ATI drivers. Then audio & video codecs.

Sun saw sense and have (or will be) GPLing Java.

Then there's ndiswrapper as a means of running binary drivers for
wireless networking hardware.

Taken to its extreme, I don't want to end up with a closed source OS.

I like to tinker, dammit! :-)

On the other hand, there's the whole Freedom aspect to consider.

There's no way that they can prevent Closed Source elements being
included, because we could just remove the patch that enforced GPL
only patches.

This is a freedom that you don't get with closed source stuff of course!

As a real-life user myself, I wouldn't be too upset if they managed to
enforce GPL only. I've had a lot of benefit from other people's work
that they GPLed in good faith. I would like to continue to do so.

When organisations manage to circumvent the "spirit" of the GPL and
include closed source into our system they sell-out everyone who
contributed openly.

I'm afraid that I side a lot more with RMS than Linus over GPL issues.



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