[CentOS-devel] [EXT] Re: RFC: kmods SIG Proposal

Sat May 22 21:51:27 UTC 2021
redbaronbrowser <redbaronbrowser at protonmail.com>

On Friday, May 21, 2021 8:00 AM, Neal Gompa <ngompa13 at gmail.com> wrote:

> The Linux kernel is licensed GPLv2, so all kernel modules need to be
> compatible with that license.

If only things were that simple.

The linux kernel actually specifies that it's SPDX-License-Identifier is  GPL-2.0 WITH Linux-syscall-note

It continues on to explain this exception to the GPL in the license rules for other licenses documentation.  This includes a MODULE_LICENSE() tag for modules to gain or be restricted from EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL().

As far as I can tell, OpenAFS honors the license tag system of the kernel and avoids calling kernel symbols that requires being GPL compatible.  As such, it is compatible with the Linux kernel GPLv2 exception/syscall-note.

At the same time, IBM PL is on Fedora's list of recognized free software licenses.

So, I think it should be valid for the kmods SIG to expect to be able to include OpenAFS.

The situation still is far from ideal.  The module should get the kernel marked as tainted.  It would be nice if the largest contributor of code to OpenAFS (some company called "IBM/Red Hat") could work towards relicensing under the GPLv2.  But the poor selection of license applied to OpenAFS shouldn't force exclusion.