You mean routers?
Posted Mar 9, 2011 9:00 UTC (Wed) by khim
In reply to: Red Hat and the GPL
Parent article: Red Hat and the GPL
Suppose a vendor took things one step further and distributed a device with dynamically loaded proprietary drivers.
You mean routers? Yes, they are distributed in such form. And most (if not all) are pushing limits if not outright violationg GPL.
GPLv2 and GPLv3 are both vague enough that a legal action against that would probably fail as well, and there doesn't appear to be anything that could be done to fix the problem without destroying the utility of the license in the first place.
Where are exactly they are "vague enough"? GPLv2, in particular, quite explicitly claims that you can only distribute non-GPLed programs on the same medium if it's "mere aggregation". Router has three parts: GPLed kernel, binary blob of a WiFi driver and the rest. Remove any single one - and you don't have a router anymore, you have a brick (or semi-brick if wired Ethernet is handled by open-source driver). To claim that WiFi driver and GPLed kernel are "mere aggregation" in this case you must do a lot of squinting.
to post comments)