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Re: kernel driver module with proprietary closed source piece.

Scripsit Sven Luther <luther@dpt-info.u-strasbg.fr>

> Since this is a linux kernel module, the GPL makes the most
> sense for this.
> Would it be possible to release this under a GPL + exception licence, or
> something such ?

That is the usual advice for *applications* that have to include
non-GPL parts. However, such a composite license is *not
GPL-compatible*.  So kernels built with code under this license would
be undistributable.

[However, I confess ignorance about the actual working of loadable
kernel modules. If it is possible to usefully distribute a .o module
that the user can plug into, say, any 2.4.x kernel compiled with
general module support, then the GPL compatibilty may matter less].

> Also, i guess i cannot put a proprietary closed source stuff into
> even non-free, without at least a permission to redistribute it.


> I will encounter i guess the same kind of problems when they move the
> proprietary part to userspace, i guess.

That is where it gets funny. If "moving to userspace" means that the
kernel is extended with an API whose sole purpose is to allow that
particular proprietary code to attach itself, a good argument can be
made the proprietary thingy is still part of the "modified work as a
whole", such that the GPL conditions on GPL-freedom still applies to

Henning Makholm         "Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit."

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