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Scott presented HP's perspective that a problem currently exists because of a lack of clear and explicit rules regarding the Linux kernel and binary modules. As a result there is not a flat playing field in the industry. Those who support the community's intention that binary modules not be used are at a disadvantage to those who choose to interpret the rules differently and use binary modules.
Scott expressed the opinion that the community that has the right to set the policy should do this in a clear way. He also stated that he believes the practice of marking symbols as being unsuitable in the kernel is a great idea because it operates in a way that makes everything clear, and it allows the kernel team to articulate any policy it wants through this mechanism of marking symbols.
Various members of the TAB stated that they felt the community has already made its policy clear, that the use of binary modules is not allowed under current copyright and licensing. They acknowledged that there is not a consensus in the community about how rigorously to enforce this position. Also, they expressed a concern that forcing the issue into court could lead to an unfavorable outcome, which would reduce the pressure they could and are trying to apply to create a level playing field.
Scott said that he thought more aggressive marking of symbols could make the rules clearer.
Dan suggested that there are two actions The Linux Foundation can take.
Scott said that HP would use any papers or tools that allow it to be helpful and stated that crisper information in a paper would be especially helpful. HP is looking for tools that can help it do better in its relationships with vendors.
The contract is in the final stages. Rob has been working since April 1 and the contract will be retroactive to that date.
Table this for a few days. James indicated that we think we'll have a contract for Greg by Monday
We agreed not to carry forward the “repository” page of the TAB website. Tom will proceed with the conversion.
N.B. The conversion is complete. You can view it at: