Re: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3

From: Ingo Molnar
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 07:49:51 EST

* David Woodhouse <dwmw2@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Who cares about whether the module is a derivative work? That's only
> relevant when you distribute the module as a separate work. When you
> ship a combined work including both the kernel and the module in
> question, it's a _whole_ lot easier to interpret the GPL.

i fully support the notion you articulate, that whether bin-only modules
are part of a derivative work of the kernel or whether they are
independent works is not an automatic thing at all. The answer is: "it
depends, talk to your lawyer". For example i'd say VMWare's ESX bin-only
module is likely derived from the Linux kernel and should be distributed
under the GPL, but that for example the ATI and nvidia drivers, although
being a large PITA for all of us, are possibly independent works.

but lets note that this is irrelevant to the Tivo argument. Tivo is not
using bin-only modules AFAIK, all their source code is available for
download. (their kernel source is totally uninteresting by the way -
they have some weird crap IDE controller with hacks that will never go

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