SmartOS (based on IllumOS) released - with KVM
Posted Aug 29, 2011 13:27 UTC (Mon) by anselm
In reply to: SmartOS (based on IllumOS) released - with KVM
Parent article: SmartOS (based on IllumOS) released - with KVM
If Microsoft distributed such a driver with windows, then they would be bringing their entire kernel under the terms of the GPL.
No, they wouldn't. They would be distributing that driver without a valid license, which is a different thing altogether.
Wishful thinking notwithstanding, a piece of software will never automatically be GPLed in its entirety, simply because the manufacturer incorporated some GPL code into it and distributed the result. (Incidentally, this is why the GPL is not a »virus« GPL »infection« doesn't work that way.) The only problem in this case is that the GPL code is not distributed according to its license. This means that (a) the manufacturer may be liable to the author(s) of the GPL code for damages resulting from past unlawful distribution of that code, and (b) the manufacturer needs to do something to avoid further non-compliance with the GPL in the future.
They can of course solve the problem by voluntarily putting their codebase under the GPL, too, but if we're talking »big proprietary package« it is more likely that they will simply remove the offending GPL code and replace it by something with a more tractable license, or make arrangements with the copyright holder to be able to use the code under a different, non-GPL, license.
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