Oracle offering DTrace for Linux
Posted Feb 23, 2012 17:32 UTC (Thu) by khim
In reply to: Oracle offering DTrace for Linux
Parent article: Oracle offering DTrace for Linux
However, as an exception, kernel developers have granted the ability for non-GPLed kernel modules to link against the kernel, as long as they only use certain symbols that are exported via EXPORT_SYMBOL instead of EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL.
Citation needed™. And it's needed really badly because historicaly Linux developers had the opposite POV. It's hard to interpret the infamous Linus's
If an author claims your work is derivative, you should
step very very lightly.
And I claim that binary-only kernel modules ARE derivative "by default",
by virtue of having no meaning without the kernel.
except as "if you lawyer believes your work is not derivative and if you are ready defend this POV in court, then maybe, just maybe your work is indeed not a derivative and thus can be non-GPL licensed".
However, someone else cannot come along, and grant themselves additional freedoms.
Yes, they can. This is just a marker. But yes, what Oracle did is a clarion call: they took symbol which was marked with "no way in hell can you use it without creating derived work" symbol and removed this mark. Their lawyers should be prepared to defend removal of said mark quite seriously.
And I can imagine that some kernel developers might wind up being fairly unhappy about that.
Not necessarily. If it can be shown that DTrace indeed uses this hook in way which does not imply intimate knowledge of kernel internals then this will be strong signal that this symbol was marked as EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL by mistake.
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