Re: [OT] The GPL and possible violations

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On Fri, 2006-02-17 at 08:03 -0600, Les Mikesell wrote:
> On Fri, 2006-02-17 at 03:57, Michael A. Peters wrote:
> > Having a discussion on the GPL - and the broadcom driver in Linksys
> > routers came up.
> > 
> > I'm taking the position that since it is a kernel module, it modifies
> > the kernel when the kernel loads it - and thus, it is no different than
> > if they were shipping a static kernel with the module compiled in, and
> > thus they (Linksys) are in violation of the GPL because they are
> > shipping a modified GPL product (the kernel) without releasing the
> > source to their modifications.
> Regardless of what the GPL does or doesn't say, it only has
> effect based on copyright law, so a violation must match
> the legal definition of a derived work.

The point is - you only have permission to distribute the kernel if you
follow the GPL. Whether your module is a derived work doesn't matter, it
modified the function of the kernel and therefore the kernel you are
distributing is a derived work - so the module has to be released under
a GPL compatible license or else you don't have permission to distribute
the kernel.

You may still have permission to distribute your module - it's the
kernel where I see there being a potential issue.

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