"There does not seem to be any particular interest in the kernel community in backing down on this change"
If true, I find this a very troubling symptom of an increasingly politicized stance on the part of some kernel developers, possibly exascerbated by the ongoing GPL2 vs. GPL3 flame-fests.
I do not know whether ndiswrapper truly needs these GPL symbols; let us assume that it does. Modifying the kernel to forbid access to them appears to me a purely punitive action, with no grounding in fairness, copyright, or technical justification. It goes well beyond any concern of compliance with the re-distribution clauses of the GPL, since its primary effect is on the end-user, who can no longer load and run legally obtained, independent pieces of software.
Tainting? - OK, that is justifiable for technical reasons. But to outright forbid running non-GPL code is a sad retreat from what I have up until now seen as the overall spirit of linux development - one of inclusiveness, helpfulness, practicality, and a general aversion to hard-line politics.
I am hopeful, however, that you have mis-read the mood of the lkml response. It seemed to me that an alternative proposal to make ndiswrapper an officially-blessed kernel component was not rejected outright. This would allow more finely-considered restrictions on use to be implemented in ndiswrapper itself, with input and review from developers with legitimate concerns.
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