Subject: Re: LGPL clarification
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2000 10:15:29 -0800

begin quotation:

> In addition to the two examples given, the Linux kernel itself contains
> an exception to allow linking of proprietary drivers (in non-source
> form) directly with the Linux kernel.

That is my recollection, as well -- except my recollection was that it 
concerned specifically hardware drivers.  I recently had reason to try
to find where it's documented, and couldn't.  It's not in the kernel
source, which has a standard GPL "COPYING" file with a brief preface
by Torvalds clarifying (for execu-twits' benefit) that the licence covers
the kernel, and not userspace programs that use the kernel only through 
normal kernel calls.

I vaguely recall that Torvalds claimed the bit about proprietary
[hardware?] drivers was his "interpretation" of the GPL as applied to
the kernel, rather than an explicit exception.  If so, that might mean
this is documented only in a long-ago thread on the Linux kernel mailing
list.  Anyone have a reference?

Cheers,                   "Teach a man to make fire, and he will be warm 
Rick Moen                 for a day.  Set a man on fire, and he will be warm       for the rest of his life."   -- John A. Hrastar