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Old 12-14-2006, 03:21 PM   #1
LXer
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LXer: Non-GPL Linux Kernel Modules Banned Starting January 2008?


Published at LXer:

"It's always an interesting day when you get to write a kernel patch, at the urging of Andrew Morton, that notifies the world that non-GPL Linux kernel modules will not work after January 2008 and write some poetry all in the same message." More here. Hopefully, many closed-source drivers will be opened during the next year if this patch goes through. Update: Linus responds.

Read More...
 
Old 12-14-2006, 04:29 PM   #2
craigevil
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While the idea of OSS drivers for thing like nvidia and ATi would be great, putting code in the kernel so non-GPLed nodules won't work is just hurting the end user.
 
Old 12-14-2006, 05:29 PM   #3
rickh
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Quote:
...putting code in the kernel so non-GPLed nodules won't work is just hurting the end user.
No. It's helping the end user by encouraging them to learn how to insert the modules himself, and making him aware of the issues surrounding FOSS. At least with Debian, adding a kernel module using module-assistant is a piece of cake, and I'm sure it is, or could be, equally easy for any distro.

Now, if we could only convince the Ubuntus of the world to do the same, things would be much better. I would like to see a model in which any insertion of proprietary drivers in a Linux distro, (by anyone except the end-user,) requires a royalty payment to the owner of that driver. That would quickly solve the problem of creeping proprietary inclusions.

Last edited by rickh; 12-14-2006 at 05:31 PM.
 
Old 12-14-2006, 06:16 PM   #4
Cogar
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Normal people (the other 99.9% of the population that don't come to a forum like this) don't know about or want to know about module-assistant or anything like it. Most of them cannot install anything but spyware on their computers as it is. In my opinion, Microsoft would approve of banning "evil" proprietary drivers from Linux to make it less user friendly.
 
Old 12-14-2006, 08:53 PM   #5
rickh
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Quote:
...99.9% of the population...
I don't know where that percentage came from, but I seriously doubt it's legitimacy, so I'll make up some of my own. Roughly 10% of desktop users today, use, or are interested in knowing more about Linux. Most of that interest is based on political issues rather than utilitarian ones. The more convinced they become of the fact that utilitarian considerations are a non-issue, the more likely they will be to follow their political instincts to convert. People who convert to Linux as a "moral" action will be willing to work a little bit harder to get their alternative OS configured, especially if it isn't really very difficult. Over the next 10 years, that 10% will grow to 25% by inertia with a corresponding growth in the Linux desktop penetration. At somewhere around 20% of Linux Desktops in the marketplace, we reach critical mass, and from then on most conversions to Linux will be based on perceived utilitarian superiority rather than political considerations.

I don't feel like that is too long to wait. The process could, perhaps, be speeded up somewhat by stripping Linux of significant portions of its "soul" (free as in liberty), but not enough to redeem what would be lost. Distributions which wish to incorporate proprietary elements should charge for their version of Linux in order to clearly differentiate between free and non-free software.

******************

All that said, I went back and read thru the original link, and all it's commentary, and it turns out that this suggestion, as it relates to the kernel, is merely idle speculation, strongly and vocally opposed by Linus Torvalds, which means it ain't gonna happen.
 
Old 12-14-2006, 11:23 PM   #6
Cogar
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If you continue "selective reading," you will continue to miss the point.

What you based your response on:
"99.9% of the population"

What I actually wrote:
"99.9% of the population that don't come to a forum like this"

Although a tenth of the population may be interested in Linux, in my opinion, most Linux installs are prohibitively difficult for the average person.
 
Old 12-15-2006, 03:43 PM   #7
Hangdog42
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This is a horribly misleading article title as Linus forced this to be removed from the kernel almost immediately. Read his response, it is truly interesting.
 
  


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