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[Lcdproc] GPL and loadable module

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  • From: David GLAUDE Mailing" <dglaudemailing AT (David GLAUDE Mailing)
  • Subject: [Lcdproc] GPL and loadable module
  • Date: Fri Dec 7 15:01:02 2001

> > Linus choose to accept non-GPL module to supporte closed module.
> > And RMS is not happy about this at all.

> > But we are here on the same project and need to know what is possible
> > a licence point of view) and what we really want.
> Yes we need to check what the license says. You will check ?

The licence say "linking" to GPL make you GPL.
Of course GPL only apply for binary distribution.
It does not apply to source only distribution.

Question1: Does anybody (us) distribute binary version?
Answer 1: ???
Question2: Does somebody else distribute binary version?
Answer 2: I have seen module for Linux Router Project, anyone else...

Now where it is not clear is what "linking" mean.
And does it apply to loadable module (dynamic library)?

Linus say it does not apply to loadable module.
RMS say it does apply to loadable module.
[ I am on RMS side for this one ;-) ]
RMS "is" the Free Software Fondation so maybe we should listen to him.

What Linus might be relevant to him but not to Linux,
because Linux contain copyright of many.

Linus say it is difficult to make a loadable module without breaking the
You need to NOT use any GPL header or code.

Someone was talking about staticaly linking to BSD licenced driver.
It could be OK with BSD licence new-style because it is less restrictive
than GPL.
But this is not OK with the old BSD licence. So watch out for that one.

As far as I am concearn, we should not accept non GPLed source code into our
CVS tree.
It should be clear that any patch send to us is implicitly GPL.
Anything else is searching for trouble.

Everybody seem to aggree closed source driver is not a good thing for
But some are ready to trade their freedom for a bit of hardware. ;-)
Remember GPL care about the user freedom, not the coder freedom. ;-)
I am not (but I would love to work for free [send the hardware] to make a
free GPL driver for that hardware).
Also this is only acceptable if there are no non disclosure agreement (I
have already "signed" too many).

Please remember also that I am more afraid of someone using one of our
rather than someone creating a closed driver.
And this is not only since I have mostly coded on the driver side.

This is because it is going to be very easy to "bypass" LCDd.
I am already thinking of an lcdproc without LCDd for space constrain.
In fact many MP3 player (and other) might love it to bypass LCDd
since they don't need IP/TCP/socket anymore and don't care about multiple


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