Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

April 30, 2004

Linus on binary modules

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 8:51 AM

lays in on the Linuxant “GPL” thread
, in his usual eloquent

A kernel module is _not_ a separate work, and can in _no_ way be seen as
“part of the hardware”. It’s very much a part of the _kernel_. And the
kernel developers require that such code be GPL’d so that it can be fixed,
or if there’s a valid argument that it’s not a derived work and not GPL’d,
then the kernel developers who have to support the end result mess most
definitely do need to know about the taint.

You are not the first (and sadly, you likely won’t be the last) person to
equate binary kernel modules with binary firmware. And I tell you that
such a comparison is ABSOLUTE CRAPOLA. There’s a damn big difference
between running firmware on another chip behind a PCI bus, and linking
into the kernel directly.

And if you don’t see that difference, then you are either terminally
stupid, or you have some ulterior reason to claim that they are the same
case even though they clearly are NOT.

I should save this stuff for the next time this stupid argument comes
up at work.

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