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SubjectRe: Why is Nvidia given GPL'd code to use in non-free drivers?
On Sun, 5 Jan 2003, Henning P. Schmiedehausen wrote:

> Mark Mielke <mark@mark.mielke.cc> writes:
>
> >I have the freedom to use Linux and ClearCase. If closed source modules
> >were to be disallowed, it would be illegal for me to use this configuration,
> >and I would be forced to use HP-UX or Solaris, and not Linux.
>
> No, it wouldn't. Thats' what most people don't understand. You
> wouldn't have a license to GIVE AWAY a system which consists of Linux
> kernel and MVFS object module.
>
> You definitely have a license to get a Linux system, install it, run
> it and install on it every piece of software you like. If you install
> MVFS, there is nothing in the GPL to prevent you from this. Neither in
> the GPL nor in the Linux-modified version of "you may load binary
> modules" GPL. This is your personal decision of your personal
> system. If you install a module that is binary only, fine.
>
> GPL is about SOFTWARE DISTRIBUTION. Not about SOFTWARE USAGE. I know
> (and I read this in many of his postings) that RMS likes to blur this
> point into "if it is not free, you must not use it with GPL software",
> but this is simply _NOT TRUE_. It is your personal freedom to choose
> and use a binary module. If you redistribute it, you may take freedom
> from the recipient away and this prohibits the GPL. But not your
> personal usage.

Sweet, and true.

The effect is shipping a binary alone without its associated kernel is the
distribution of a product independent.

One other point, about RMS and FSF ... They have no stake or holding in
the linux kernel, only a license about distribution.

So when the poke there nose in this issue and interfere in the operations
and business, they are exposing themselves to litigation. This was an
interesting point made to me and I think it needs research.

Something else that needs research is a linuxgram story which I am having
trouble tracking down. It has something to say about a FSF/GPL
certification audit for $25,000.00, regardless if it is open or closed.
If this is true, a conflict of interest, and a huge grey area is worthly
of investigation. The questions to ask:

Who has requested certification?
Who has passed?
Who has failed?
Has any one failed?

If the last question is answered by "none" ...

> Sheesh. I have lots of kernel modules in current use which will never
> be released outside the scope of my own boxes. That's no breach of the
> GPL. You'll never be able to acquire either a source or a binary code
> license. This is my code. You cannot have it. My freedom to decide so.
> End of story.

Thanks is has been fun and informative.

Cheers,

Andre Hedrick
LAD Storage Consulting Group

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