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GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 26, 2006 11:06 UTC (Thu) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
In reply to: GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper by malor
Parent article: GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

""This is pure bullshit. The kernel devs are trying to restrict what end users do with their systems, which is as profoundly un-GPL and as un-free as you get. This kind of move is something you'd expect from Microsoft or Apple.""

No they aren't. You just change the names around an it works fine. You just comment out the 3 lines or so that check for ndiswrapper.

There are a dozen easy ways to work around this and the kernel developers know it.

People are ignoring new open source drivers and such because their stuff works with ndiswrapper. This is entirely unsupported and can't be depended on working. People are told that it does work though, when they shouldn't be told anything of the sort.

They don't want to end up in a position were manufaturers are using ndiswrapper as a excuse for not supporting Linux.

For instance Texas Instrument used the existance of the linuxant and ndiswrapper drivers for not supporting Linux for their wifi stuff. This is a fact. They even advertise this fact by in a press release that they support linux by helping out conextent development.

If their hardware works fine in ndiswrapper then what possible justification can you provide for releasing documentation and code for writing proper drivers?!


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GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 26, 2006 11:58 UTC (Thu) by malor (guest, #2973) [Link]

In other words, you just agreed with me that it IS NOT about the GPL. It has nothing to do with the GPL. The GPL is a big fat red herring.

They're using their code to try to control what end-users do. They are painting it as a GPL issue, when it isn't. This is either dishonesty or poor thinking on their part. If they want people to use the open source drivers, they should be doing it a different way, not deliberately breaking people's machines.

The HONEST approach would be to refuse to load ndiswrapper with an error message. "We don't like this code, and we don't want you to use it." That would piss people off mightily, but it would be accurate.

We're not supposed to run Linus kernels anymore anyway. Hopefully the distros will just comment out this garbage.

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper & GPLv3

Posted Oct 29, 2006 15:50 UTC (Sun) by mingo (subscriber, #31122) [Link]

They're using their code to try to control what end-users do.

I think you might be confusing things here. Every OS code on this planet, including the GNU Hurd OS, "controls" what end-users do: that is what code does to begin with. (For example: the Linux kernel does not allow the modification of kernel-space memory by user-space code.)

The question here is purely implementational: what does the kernel code do by default? If you dont agree with the default behavior, and if you think the resulting work is still fine under the license, you can change the source code and redistribute the result.

(Some raised the "how is this different from the GPLv3 situation" question and the answer to that is simple: the GPLv3 draft was claimed to limit what end-users can do via the license. I hope you will agree with me that there is a big difference between code-based limitations and license-based limitations.)

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper & GPLv3

Posted Oct 29, 2006 17:47 UTC (Sun) by malor (guest, #2973) [Link]

Oh for chrissake, you're splitting hairs.

The kernel devs were trying to make it difficult for you to run code they don't like. They've changed their minds subsequently, but they had decreed that ndiswrapper was Not Acceptable Code as written, and wrote a specific blockage of that code into the kernel. By name, even.

They were using, in other words, code to enforce a political viewpoint...and an INCORRECT political viewpoint at that, since ndiswrapper doesn't violate the GPL.

This is entirely different from code that controls behavior because of technical reasons, and you know that perfectly well. They were trying to limit end users from running *specific code*. They weren't saying "nobody can do X because it will break systems", they were saying "We don't like ndiswrapper and you can't use it anymore."

The fact that we can hack around their edict is irrelevant. We shouldn't have to.

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 26, 2006 14:55 UTC (Thu) by cventers (guest, #31465) [Link]

I agree that ndiswrapper is a problem in the long run (though I respect
its authors for coming forth with a solution, even if I don't agree with
it).

But I absolutely agree that it's un-GPL and un-free. Bringing the GPL
into this is a huge red herring because the end-user is not bound by the
terms of the GPL. If proprietary NDIS drivers were being shipped
side-by-side with ndiswrapper, I'd call that suspicious if not completely
illegal, but GPL does _not_ apply to end users.

Kernel developers are often heard to say "We don't do licenses, we do
code!" or "Ask an attorney." This is just further proof that they are
right, because they still seem to think GPL somehow controls what an end
user does.


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