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Old 08-03-06, 10:19 AM   #52
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Default Re: Opinions on driver license

Originally Posted by kwizart
Thx for the quality of your explanation!
This thread answears many things I wonder!

I not really a geek on linux but i'm interesting in packaging rpm on Fedora Core. So i may be wrong sometime. Fell free to correct me.
Actually, there is a debate on repositories for rpm because the maintainer fall support of the kmod-vidia precompiled rpm. The reason invoqued is that it possibly violate the GPL. That's why i am interested in that question.
If releasing the Nvidia pre-compiled module is illegal (with or without the kernel?) why this is deported to the user choice?
I expect this question is raising because of the Kororaa case. But this may be link with a distrib that aim to test accelerated 3d on aiglx (or xgl i don't remember!)
because the GPL only covers distribution, not usage. You are not allowed to distribute a work consisting of closed source and gpl'ed software combined to a single object (like a precompiled module for the redhat kernel). That is a breach of the GPL and can have severe consequences.

But at home, or for your company, you can do what you want. The GPL does not forbid you to make a combined work and use it for yourself. That is why the work has to be delegated to the user.
When the user compiles the module and loads it, it is perfectly legal. Distributing it, not.

Do you see the difference?

The user is free to do whatever he wishes to do, as long as he does not distribute the results. As soon as he starts distributing them, he has to follow the GPL.
That was the reason for the Kororaa problem (but IMHO Kororaa was unfairly targeted. A lot of Distributions distributed the precompiled drivers... but Kororraa was targeted... most probably because they are small and do not have the money for lawyers. Linspire for example was as guilty as Kororaa.... ), they distributed it. If they had the drivers on the cd and a script that had to be run by the user to compile the driver and set up everything, they would have been on the safe side.

Originally Posted by kwizart
The main problem of that last question is that few mount ago. Nvidia tells the developper kernel what is better to do for architecturing aiglx, so developpers may fell dispossess from their work on the kernel. That's led to the question : is it the kernel to fit the module rules or the module to fit the kernel's ones. Maybe it is an interaction...But I fell this GPL question is raising because kernel developpers wants the interact to go more in their way and to control the whole developpement.
the kernel devs? Don't you mean the Xorg devs?

The kernel devs don't have a problem with control... but the kernel is THEIR work - ever heard of intelectual property? They made it, and they released it under the GPL, which has certain rules everybody has to obey. If someone does not obey to that rules - I would feel pissed. Another problem: kernels with closed source modules loaded are not debuggable by the kernel devs. There are lots and lots of bug reports, that can not worked upon, because the kernel had loaded several closed source modules at that time - and the devs don't habe access to the modules source (worst case: ndiswrapper).

So a closed source module loaded at the wrong moment may hinder kernel development - from a kernel devs point of view this is hardly bearable. They try to make a good product, but some modules are f*ing them up.

Originally Posted by kwizart
Intel will release 3d integrated chipset with the release and the needs of Vista and maybe also aiglx (possibly with Fedora Core 6?...). They are usually fair with developpement on linux releasing GPL drivers. Why Nvidia could not do the same?
well there are rumors that some of the IP in the nvidia module is owned by INTEL.. and the last time NVIDIA released an open source driver (yes, that happened - a long time ago), they got angry mail from Intel.. and Microsoft. Intel is big enough to fight of MS - Nvidia is not.

Originally Posted by kwizart
The needs are for exemple maya for linux , or blender. This is not only games. And the aiglx will bring to the standart desktop the needs for ererybody of 3d acceleration hardware!
well... aigl or xgl... what is the difference from the users point of view? He does not care how the fancy eye candy is generated....
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