GPLv3 and Mobile Phones

Stefan Schmidt stefan at
Sat Dec 9 19:53:29 CET 2006


On Sat, 2006-12-09 at 13:00, Oleg Gusev wrote:
> Am Samstag, 9. Dezember 2006 12:34 schrieb Stefan Schmidt:
> >
> > Keep in mind that the FIC team have no wifi on
> > the phone because no vendor allowed them to put the wlan driver under
> > GPL. So they make the dicision to lack wifi instead of using unethical
> > binary-only kernel modules.
> >
> The TI acx100 driver used by many PDAs and phones
> is released under GPL and loads the binary firmware
> into baseband and radio amplifier.

IIRC TI acx100 driver is a re driver. It's not the only one in the
kernel. Wireless driver are hard to be done right and without
datasheets it's even harder. The vendors can still offer the
datasheets under a NDA which allows and GPL driver written with this

It is totaly fine to re a driver for your private hardware, but if you
are a company which like to builf this hardware into their devices, a
re driver is not a good choice in my opinion.

> > For your questions about GPLv2 vs. GPLv3 I can just say it is the
> > choice of the company which version they choose. Not everybody is
> > happy with the new version.
> >
> Any developer is free to include the "or (at your option) any later version"
> clause for his work.

If you do this other people can use your code under GPLv3 or GPLv4
which you perhaps don't like.

Stefan Schmidt
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