But it's combined by the user at runtime, not by canocal. The GPL allows an end users to do this.
This is a way that people kid themselves about the GPL. If the user were really porting ZFS on their own, combining the work and never distributing it, that would work. But the user isn't combining it. The Ubuntu developer is creating instructions which explicitly load the driver into the kernel. These instructions are either a link script that references the kernel, or a pre-linked dynamic module. Creating those instructions and distributing them to the user is tantamount to performing the act on the user's system, under your control rather than the user's.
To show this with an analogy, suppose you placed a bomb in the user's system which would go off when they loaded the ZFS module. But Judge, you might say, I am innocent because the victim is actually the person who set off the bomb. All I did was distribute a harmless unexploded bomb.
So, it's clear that you can perform actions that have effects later in time and at a different place that are your action rather than the user's. That is what building a dynamic module or linking scripts does.
There is also the problem that the pieces, Linux and ZFS, are probably distributed together. There is specific language in the GPL to catch that.
A lot of people don't realize what they get charged with when they violate the GPL (or any license). They don't get charged with violating the license terms. They are charged with copyright infringement, and their defense is that they have a license. So, the defense has to prove that they were in conformance with every license term.
This is another situation where I would have a pretty easy time making the programmer look bad when they are deposed.
Regardless of what Ubuntu has convinced themselves of, in this context the ZFS filesystem driver would be an unlicensed derivative work. If they don't want it to be so, it needs to be in user-mode instead of loaded into the kernel address space and using unexported APIs of the kernel.
A lot of people try to deceive themselves (and you) that they can do silly things, like putting an API between software under two licenses, and that such an API becomes a "computer condom" that protects you from the GPL. This rationale was never true and was overturned by the court in the appeal of Oracle v. Google.
Aggregate means two programs that are not combined and just live on the same filesystem. In the case of a filesystem driver, it's read into the kernel space and touches unexported APIs of the kernel and various kernel internals.
It is thus a derivative work.
No jail. And corporate bankruptcy can get them out of paying fines.
It's that 1% that you never hear about and are never caught that are the truly dangerous ones.
. . . you mean, the NSA. . .
UPDATE: Microsoft says there's nothing to worry about, the company "incorrectly published a test update."
But what if someone compromised the Slashdot Update?
LOL: best group project I ever had was when I was taking an online class. I had a lot less difficulty interacting and interfacing with the other students in my group, ONLINE. At least through the planning phase. In the DOING phase, I was basically the only person doing any of the work. Which is okay, because I documented everything, and the teacher saw the outcome and graded appropriately. Other than that - great team! great experience! 10/10 would solo that group project again!
(okay, maybe my sarcasm comes off a bit harsh online. . . )
What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.