[linux-elitists] [dave@farber.net: [IP] more on next obvious question]

Brandon D. Valentine brandon@dvalentine.com
Tue Jun 7 11:42:16 PDT 2005

On Tue, Jun 07, 2005 at 10:45:34AM -0700, Greg KH wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 07, 2005 at 12:24:30PM -0500, Brandon D. Valentine wrote:
> > On Tue, Jun 07, 2005 at 08:07:27AM -0700, Greg KH wrote:
> > > It's illegal to put GPL drivers into a BSD kernel, hence, this isn't an
> > > option.
> > 
> > Boy, this _IS_ the linux-elitists list!
> Um, I don't understand your objection.  Do you think it is legal to put
> GPL code into a BSD binary?

I think you have a funny idea of the meaning of the word illegal.

I can put all the GPL code I would like into a BSD binary.  There's
nothing illegal about that.

If I would like to distribute the resulting binary, I will have to make
the entire source available under the terms of the GPL.  But, the
distribution itself is not illegal.

Should Apple or one of the BSDs decide to include GPL-licensed code in a
binary for distribution, they need only make those sources available
under the terms of the GPL and both organizations already use and
distribute GPL licensed code heavily.

Should Apple or some third-party decide to develop a mechanism for a Mac
OS X kernel (which is not a BSD kernel, btw) to load and utilize drivers
developed for Linux or some other operating system, the development of
such a mechanism would not be illegal.  Neither would it be illegal to
distribute that software according to whatever terms the copyright
holder saw fit.

Further such non-GPL code could be distributed as a binary with other
binaries that are GPL licensed.  Should some non-GPL code link in GPL
code at runtime, it would be dubious to subject the copyright holder of
the non-GPL code to the terms of that license for his own independent

This whole discussion is rather silly though.

Mac OS X's demographic is precisely the opposite of those with enough
technical skill to hack and/or patch enough of their operating system to
make it run on non-Apple hardware.  Even if someone managed to make that
work, and found a way to hack in driver support, either through some
Rube Goldberg linux-driver-wrapper horseshit or other, it wouldn't be
terribly useful to terribly many people who leave their basement on a
regular basis.

People who want a Mac will buy a Mac.  People who want to hack shit
together will run Linux From Scratch on beige boxes they haven't
bothered to cover with a beige box.

Just a thought,

Pseudo-Random Googlism:  june is rose month

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