On Wed, 15 Mar 2000, Burke, Gary : GIG IS&T wrote:
> I believe Linus allows non-open-source modules that can be used with the
> kernel, and recognises the needs for these modules - so long as no changes
> need to be made to the kernel.
i think it's more a case that he tolerates them. But you'd have to ask
him yourself i gues. Also, Linus isn't the only copyright holder, and
all must agree.
> It makes sense - not everything /can/ be
i feel a long thread brewing. :)
> as it wouldn't make sense from a business perspective
why not? :)
> (especially low level drivers to custom hardware).
things like netscape/office programmes i can understand. But custom
hardware? I can't of any reason that hardware specs should /not/ be open
> Any changes made to that with is already under the GPL does fall under the
> GPL, but modules aren't changes - they are just plug-ins.
no. The GPL covers the 'work'. And the linux kernel is one 'work', and
any plugin/module that links into it at compile becomes part of that
'work' and hence must be licensed either under GPL or a compatible
The only exception is where the copyright holders change the licence,
and so far linux has done it for code like OSS/etc.. where the companies
where marketing it to the linux community.
Set top boxes are imo slightly different. Look at Cobalt's cube stuff,
do you think there wouldn't have been an outcry if they hadn't
IMV Unison/netgem got a fairly complete kernel for a very reasonable
licence, and ***/if/*** they have developed drivers or made improvements
then they should play by the rules and contribute back. (else they
should buy an OS, or use free/net BSD).
Note the **/if/**. It's still all hypothetical, no-one here has tried
getting code yet. And for all we know NetGem have been handing back code
for donkey years..
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