Re: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?

From: Jamie Lokier
Date: Wed Dec 03 2003 - 23:53:07 EST

David Lang wrote:
> becouse of this you could take the kernel and include any propriatary code
> in it that you want and run it. You don't even need to use modules, just
> paste in th code and compile (make sure you have a legal right to the code
> you are pasting in though :-)

To elaborate on this: most patches which apply to the Linux kernel are
clearly derived works of the kernel.[*]

You can write and apply such a patch , but if you distribute the patch
it must be licensed under the GPL.

Thus while _you_ may take a Linux kernel and include any proprietary
code you want in it, a vendor _may not_ send you a patch which applies
to the Linux kernel if the patch is not licensed under the GPL or a
compatible license. A vendor is not allowed to restrict your rights
in this way.

[*] Exceptions would be patches which are very small (<10 lines is
sometimes suggested, but it's not a hard boundary), and patches which
simply add code which is clearly not derived form the kernel, as Linus

-- Jamie
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