Quote Originally Posted by r1348 View Post
This is a blatant licence violation and Samsung has the right to go medieval on his ass. Will they? Probably not, but I'd expect a cease&desist pretty soon.
Well it is also likely that this module violates the GPL license of the kernel. Linus only considers stuff that was originally written for other operating systems and then trivially ported to Linux as non-GPL:

Quote Originally Posted by Linus Torvalds
And in fact, when it comes to modules, the GPL issue is exactly the same.
The kernel _is_ GPL. No ifs, buts and maybe's about it. As a result,
anything that is a derived work has to be GPL'd. It's that simple.

Now, the "derived work" issue in copyright law is the only thing that
leads to any gray areas. There are areas that are not gray at all: user
space is clearly not a derived work, while kernel patches clearly _are_
derived works.

But one gray area in particular is something like a driver that was
originally written for another operating system (ie clearly not a derived
work of Linux in origin). At exactly what point does it become a derived
work of the kernel (and thus fall under the GPL)?

THAT is a gray area, and _that_ is the area where I personally believe
that some modules may be considered to not be derived works simply because
they weren't designed for Linux and don't depend on any special Linux
behaviour.

Basically:
- anything that was written with Linux in mind (whether it then _also_
works on other operating systems or not) is clearly partially a derived
work.

- anything that has knowledge of and plays with fundamental internal
Linux behaviour is clearly a derived work. If you need to muck around
with core code, you're derived, no question about it.
The Samsung code appears to have been written by a developer who has been doing Linux kernel development since 2002 (at least), so I think they would have a hard time in court arguing that this is a cleanroom implementation that wasn't "designed for Linux". Now that the source is out, it will be interesting to see some more technical analysis of exactly how integrated it is with the kernel, and whether it actually contains any code/data structures that taint it due to being directly copied from the kernel.