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GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 26, 2006 3:18 UTC (Thu) by interalia (subscriber, #26615)
In reply to: GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper by josh_stern
Parent article: GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

It depends on the ability to link with proprietary stuff in order to do what it is intended to do.

This same assertion about ndiswrapper happened on the Debian mailing lists, regarding whether it was non-free. Some people argued that nothing prevented you using ndiswrapper to load a GPL-licensed Windows driver, were such a beast to exist. Since ndiswrapper's own license doesn't preclude the loading of a GPL (or otherwise DFSG-free) driver, it didn't therefore deserve to be in non-free. Or, indeed, you might be writing Windows drivers and want to try loading them in ndiswrapper.

This was a contentious point, and although I personally feel the logic makes sense, others felt the practical reality that there is currently no free driver overruled this and consigned ndiswrapper to non-free. I seem to recall a slim majority holding to that latter viewpoint, though the maintainer himself felt it was suitable for main and no-one requested Debian's Technical Committee override his decision.

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GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 26, 2006 3:44 UTC (Thu) by josh_stern (guest, #4868) [Link]

Personally, I would have supported the decision that Debian made and I would also support people who wanted to remove GPL-only symbols from the kernel. Here I'm just saying that I also support the decision of other kernel developers not to allow unintended workarounds for using GPL-only symbol code once they've already accepted that way of doing things.

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 26, 2006 10:47 UTC (Thu) by syntaxis (guest, #18897) [Link]

Currently ndiswrapper is in Debian main, not non-free.\ &version=all&exact=1&keywords=ndiswrapper

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 27, 2006 2:12 UTC (Fri) by interalia (subscriber, #26615) [Link]

<blockquote>Currently ndiswrapper is in Debian main</blockquote>

Yes, that's what I said :) I probably wasn't very clear, but I said the maintainer felt it was OK for main and no-one tried to override his decision, implying that the maintainer's decision held.

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 31, 2006 4:45 UTC (Tue) by proski (subscriber, #104) [Link]

I believe you misunderstood the discussion. I don't think moving ndiswrapper to non-free was even considered. It was discussed whether to put ndiswrapper to contrib. Software in contrib is required to follow the DFSG, but it's allowed to depend on non-free software. In other words, nobody challenged the notion that ndiswrapper was free software per se.

All "linking" is happening in the kernel memory on the end user system. There is no such thing as ndiswrapper "linked" to a non-free driver for the purpose of distribution.

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