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Old 09-04-2012, 05:03 PM   #16
altruizine
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Posts: 77
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Device: Sony Reader PRS-T1
Quote:
Originally Posted by e-ink View Post
Sorry, I didn't make myself very clear. I was just wondering if Sony uses any proprietary drivers (lets assume legitimately) do those binaries need to be published with the kernel sources?
To get a valid answer, you'd probably have to ask a lawyer, which I am not. But according to my understanding, the answer is no: If some software using or linking against Linux can be legitimately kept proprietary, then you also can distribute the GPL'd Linux sources without it. Unlike the LGPL, the GPLv2 has no provision that client code has to distributed in relinkable form.

However, given the nature of the extension interface, I'm questioning that the extension module can be argued to be non-derivative of the Linux kernel. Hence, I believe the extension falls under the GPL and needs to be distributed in either source code or not at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by e-ink View Post
Can a proprietary driver btw legitimately be built into the kernel, or does it have to load as a module?
Again, IANAL, but I think the GPL makes it impossible to distribute a kernel binary without also distributing all source code to it. Thus, all proprietary drivers have to be loaded as kernel modules at runtime.
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