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SubjectRe: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?
[ Date:  Sometime in the near future. ]

[ Scene: Exterior of a Federal courthouse in a large city in the US. Among
the cars parked in the lot are several dozen stretch limos, a Saab 9000
Turbo with a penguin bobble-head doll on the dashboard, and a '67 VW van
covered with "peace" symbols and sporting a bumper sticker that reads "Code
free or die!" ]

[ Scene: Interior of said courthouse. Seated at the plaintiff's table are
a gaggle of expensive-looking lawyers in expensive-looking suits. Seated at
the defendant's table are Linus T, Alan C, Jeff G, Andrew M, David M, Al V,
Richard S, plus a host of other people whose names we might recognize. And
one very nervous-looking, pimply-faced young lawyer who looks like he might
have graduated from law school sometime last week. ]

[ Lawyer for NVidia: ] "... And in conclusion, Your Honor, we have
established that for many years our company sold graphics cards to users of
the Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, in each case providing a
binary graphics driver to make our card work with that OS. Then, without
warning, the defendants" [ angrily points his finger at the defendant's
table ] "conspired to arrange so that our drivers would no longer work with
the Linux OS. We have already demonstrated that, around the same time, our
company's revenues began to decline, caused in large part, we believe, by
the defendants' actions. We ask for $1 billion in damages."

[ Judge - banging gavel: ] "You've convinced me. I order a summary
judgement for the amount requested, plus $2 billion punitive damages."

[ Cut to: Bedroom of a comfortable house in the suburbs. Nighttime. ]

[ Linus - suddenly sits bolt upright in the bed, a horrified expression on
his face: ] "AAAAiiiiiiieeeeeeeeaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!!!!"

[ Wife - shaking Linus' shoulder: ] "Honey, wake up, wake up! I think
you're having that horrible nightmare again!"

And that is why binary drivers will always be allowed under Linux.


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