GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper
Posted Oct 26, 2006 14:04 UTC (Thu) by josh_stern
In reply to: GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper
Parent article: GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper
"This is pure bullshit. The kernel devs are trying to restrict what end users do with their systems, which is as profoundly un-GPL and as un-free as you get. This kind of move is something you'd expect from Microsoft or Apple."
More accurately, some kernel devs are trying to restrict what developers do with their *un-patched code*. It is neither enforcing GPL nor un-GPL. The GPL license permits developers to modify the GPL'd kernel, but restricts the licensing and distribution of that modified code. GPL doesn't say that GPL'd code should be equally friendly to all usage. As a relevant point of interest, distributing together a kernel, an ndiswrapper, and the binary drivers that people want to use ndiswrapper with would be a GPL violation. Since that distribution isn't in question, what we are talking about is just a preference by the developers for making their unpatched code unfriendly to such usage (distributed or not). That is not surprising, but it is controversial because it hurts some users.
Is the policy good or bad? Tt comes down to weighing conflicting interests of some end users and some kernel developers. Also relevant is the technical question of how much work or difficulty is involved in making ndiswrapper work with the GPL SYMBOL stuff.
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