> I believe that Google would be just as likely to submit fixes to Linux without the GPL as they do now, because they don't want to maintain a sea of patches for the rest of Android's life. Ideology and "do no evil" be damned -- it's easier and in their own best interests.
I can't argue with the rest of your statement but I'm not really sure this is true, maybe they would try but the Android team seems somewhat GPL averse. I think they picked the kernel for its technical superiority and are forced to comply with the license to get it.
That's different than IBM which is willing to put resources into projects because of the GPL. It protects them from competition with proprietary forks of their own labor. They can compete, successfully, on other areas than exclusive access to critical source code
I don't know the android developers though so I may be way off base.