https://sfconservancy.org/news/2015/oct/28/vmware-update/ (article excerpt below)
Christoph’s response discusses his extensive contributions to the Linux kernel and disputes the technical merits of VMware’s assertions. The response points out that vmklinux is not an interoperability module, but rather an arbitrary separation of the Linux derived module from vmkernel. Specifically, vmklinux is nonfunctional with any non-ESX OS, and vmklinux is tied intimately to a specific version of ESXi. Vmklinux does not allow reuse of unmodified Linux drivers in binary or source form. Christoph further points out that if the Court allows proprietarization of an arbitrary split portion of GPL’d computer programs, it could allow redistributors to trivially bypass the strong copyleft terms found in the GPL. Finally, the response explains that vmkernel and vmklinux don’t “communicate over an interface”, rather they run in the same process as a single computer program. Thus, VMK API, as used by vmklinux, is not an “interface” as set forth in the EU Directive 2009/24/EC.
And Germany also protects the individual citizens’ right to reverse engineer, as does Norway (1)