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Old 08-02-06, 06:37 PM   #48
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Clausthal/Germany
Posts: 1,104
Default Re: Opinions on driver license

Originally Posted by kwizart
I do not have read all the topic but few things.
What i understand of that probleme is that inserting non-GPL kernel-module inside the linux kernel is simply illegal.
no, distributing a closed source module together with the kernel is illegal. Maybe programming one.
Inserting is a totally different area.

Originally Posted by kwizart
The poll seems to say that is a user choice. But it is not. Since Novell do not provide anymore closed module (As Fedora/Redhat that i use) they only move the legality problem to the responsability of the users... This is not a acceptable!
and here you are totally wrong. What the user does is outside of the scope of the GPL. You can do with the software whatever you want, as long as you do not distribute it. So loading a closed source kernel module AS USER is absolutly LEGAL. It may be imoral (from a kernel dev point of view), but there is nothing that makes it illegal. The user is allowed to load such modules.

Originally Posted by kwizart
The linux kernel is GPL, then all module for that kernel need to be at least GPL. Since we use linux and with Nvidia 3d acceleration or not we need to have fully functionnal hardware. This implies to provide a linux driver to the users and this driver must be GPL...
well, yes and no. There is some discussion about it. If the module uses kernel interna, than yes, it has to be under the GPL as soon as it is distributed. But if it does not use kernel interna and uses a GPL'ed glue layer to the kernel (like the nvidia) module, they might be on the safe side.
Besides of that, Linus B. Torvalds said something about the nvidia module a long time ago, that makes NVIDIA sit on the safe side anyway . . .

A lot of people would be happier, if nvidia would provide opensource drivers or collaborate with devs to create one (or even pays a different corporation to create that drivers, like ATI did a long time ago), but as long as nvidia thinks that keeping the drivers closed is better for it, that will not happen.
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