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SubjectRe: Open letter to Linux kernel developers (was Re: Binary Drivers)
On Tue, 2007-01-02 at 16:30 +1000, Trent Waddington wrote:
> I think you're repeating a myth that has become a common part of
> hacker lore in recent years. It's caused by how little we know about
> software patents. The myth is that if you release source code which
> violates someone's patent that is somehow worse than if you release
> binaries that violate someone's patent. This is clearly, obviously,
> false. If you're practising the invention without a license in your
> source code then you're practising the invention without a license in
> binaries compiled from that source code. Period.

While this is true (at last in theory), there is one difference in
practice: It is *much* easier to prove a/the patent violation if you
have (original?) source code than to reverse engineer the assembler dump
of the compiled code and prove the patent violation far enough to get to
a so-called "agreement" on the costs.

> Nvidia are not releasing source code to their drivers for one reason:
> it's not their culture. They don't see the need. They don't see the
> benefit.

Which also may well be true.

Firmix Software GmbH
mobil: +43 664 4416156 fax: +43 1 7890849-55
Embedded Linux Development and Services

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