Note: This reads like a rant (and to 90% it is) but there's also a serious question in the last paragraph.
So I've just come across an article which claims that Canonical is in violation of the GPL for distributing a binary of the ZFS module. It doesn't seem to be an April's fool joke.
Can someone enlighten me what the issue is because I seem to be too stupid to understand it. To me, the facts look like this:
Party 1 holds the rights on product ABC. They license it under the ABC-License. Which is kinda-opensource, but not quite.
Party 2 holds the rights on product DEF. They license it under the GPL. Which is... freedom.
ABC and DEF do not share a code base, nor are they otherwise affiliated in some way. Some DEF-affiliated developers made an ABC module that can run under DEF. Which is nice because ABC is a great addition to users of DEF.
Party 3 distributes ISO files containing -- among other things -- DEF, as well as ready-to-install DVDs, and they maintain a live packet repository with some thousand other stuffs. They also maintain a source repository so they comply with the GPL.
Since pretty much forever, the installation DVDs also included some non-free stuff like Flash and some multimedia codecs for the user's convenience. This has -- obviously -- never been a problem. I never bothered, but whoever wanted these could opt-in to install them. Other parties do the same thing, too (Linux Mint comes to mind).
Now, presently, Party 3 is also adding a binary of ABC to their DVD. That's a problem. Those bastards, how can they!
Party 3 is in violation of Party 2's license for packing Party 1's smelly stuff onto the same DVD. Because, you know, it's not allowable to have two different religions on the same DVD.
No really, what the hell? I must be understanding this wrong. This is just too perverse to be true.
Steam runs, among other systems, under Linux. Steam sells/distributes games which are not GPL (the vast majority of them is not even remotely open-source). So, since it is against the GPL to combine non-GPL stuff with the Linux kernel, is Valve in violation with the GPL?
More importantly: Are you in violation of the GPL if you sell a game via Steam?