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GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 27, 2006 4:19 UTC (Fri) by pimlott (guest, #1535)
In reply to: GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper by malor
Parent article: GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

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.
They are not trying to restrict, they are trying to make less convenient. The FSF is well-known to do this as well. For example, it declines features in GCC to export and import the intermediate formats, so that end-users can't conveniently plug in proprietary front- and back-ends. It's not exactly the same technically, but the goal is the same: Reject hooks that could be used by proprietary software. Users can always add them themselves, so it is in no way a restriction of the FSF's freedoms.

That said, the use of GPL-only symbols to enforce this is questionable and certainly confusing. GPL-only was supposed to express the intent that modules using them are derivative works. ndiswrapper acknowledges that it is a derivative, and its GPL license seems uncontrovercial since it simply implements a public interface with a variety of users.

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GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Nov 2, 2006 12:53 UTC (Thu) by arcticwolf (guest, #8341) [Link]

But there is a difference between "we won't make it easier for you" and "we will make it more difficult for you on purpose". I can very much understand that the gcc folks aren't willing to spend time and energy on implementing features that essentially would be of use only (or mostly) to vendors of proprietary front-/back-ends, but they aren't going out of their way and spending and energy on implementing restrictions that make it even more difficult to do that and that don't serve any other purpose, either. (Or are they?)

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Nov 2, 2006 15:13 UTC (Thu) by pimlott (guest, #1535) [Link]

Or are they?
If our discussion were more timely, Joe Buck would answer. :-) I'm out of my authority here, but I think I've heard that there have been developers interested in implementing it, and that it was vetoed from the top.

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