Here's a fun patch to the kernel that I just "proposed".

It simply marks all PCI functions as only able to be used by GPL licensed kernel code.

No, I'm not serious about submitting this patch right now, as I know the rules about existing kernel symbols.

But, what if this patch really did go in? Who would be affected by this? Nothing that is currently in the kernel tree, right, so what's the big deal?

Oh yeah, closed source drivers that are out side of the tree, but who cares about them?

Oh yeah, very large companies rely on them right now, and are working on creating more and more closed source drivers. Why? Don't they know that their legal departments do not agree with this? Are they approaching Linux development in the same way they used to with the old Unix systems, i.e. fork and "add value"?

Well, consider this a warning shot for anyone who is relying on closed source modules. What you are doing is trying to take from Linux and not give anything back. The GPL explicitly forbids this, and Linux would not be good enough today for you to be using it without that protection. There is a reason why you are wanting to use Linux for your internal use, and why your customers are asking for it.

If you, or your company is relying on closed source kernel modules, your days are numbered. And what are you going to do, and how are you going to explain things to your bosses and your customers, if possibly, something like this patch were to be accepted?

Something for everyone to think about...

posted Mon, 21 Nov 2005 in [/linux]


My Linux Stuff