|| ||Linus Torvalds <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|| ||Christoph Hellwig <email@example.com>|
|| ||Re: [PATCH] make LSM register functions GPLonly exports|
|| ||Thu, 17 Oct 2002 10:08:19 -0700 (PDT)|
|| ||Crispin Cowan <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Greg KH <email@example.com>,
Note that if this fight ends up being a major issue, I'm just going to
remove LSM and let the security vendors do their own thing. So far
- I have not seen a lot of actual usage of the hooks
- seen a number of people who still worry that the hooks degrade
performance in critical areas
- the worry that people use it for non-GPL'd modules is apparently real,
considering Crispin's reply.
I will re-iterate my stance on the GPL and kernel modules:
There is NOTHING in the kernel license that allows modules to be
The _only_ thing that allows for non-GPL modules is copyright law, and
in particular the "derived work" issue. A vendor who distributes non-GPL
modules is _not_ protected by the module interface per se, and should
feel very confident that they can show in a court of law that the code
is not derived.
The module interface has NEVER been documented or meant to be a GPL
barrier. The COPYING clearly states that the system call layer is such a
barrier, so if you do your work in user land you're not in any way
beholden to the GPL. The module interfaces are not system calls: there
are system calls used to _install_ them, but the actual interfaces are
The original binary-only modules were for things that were pre-existing
works of code, ie drivers and filesystems ported from other operating
systems, which thus could clearly be argued to not be derived works, and
the original limited export table also acted somewhat as a barrier to
show a level of distance.
In short, Crispin: I'm going to apply the patch, and if you as a copyright
holder of that file disagree, I will simply remove all of he LSM code from
the kernel. I think it's very clear that a LSM module is a derived work,
and thus copyright law and the GPL are not in any way unclear about it.
If people think they can avoid the GPL by using function pointers, they
are WRONG. And they have always been wrong.
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