Possibly OT: Splitting Hairs Over GPL?

Michael Torrie torriem at gmail.com
Wed Apr 7 14:23:02 MDT 2010

On 04/07/2010 02:02 PM, Aaron Toponce wrote:
> My understanding of the GPL says this is allowed. Further, my
> understanding of the GPL says that writing software under the GPL
> license and linking to proprietary licensed software is not allowed.
> With that said, I don't know how the Linux kernel gets away with it.
> Maybe I'm missing something crucial.

As a copyright holder, there's nothing to "get away with."  Any "getting
away with" is solely on the part of the person who obtains a copy of the

That said, I'm not sure what you are referring to either.  Since
loadable kernel modules are linked in at run-time, they must be GPL (at
least to be shipped legally).  NVidia has a GPL'd wrapper that they ship
which loads a binary blob, which is legal for them to do, since it is
actually you who is loading an incompatible thing into the kernel (which
the GPL can have no say over).

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