Re: Nvidia legal to use by end-users?

From: Valdis . Kletnieks
Date: Thu May 18 2006 - 17:37:52 EST

On Thu, 18 May 2006 16:50:52 EDT, Don Bedsole said:
> Question: If I download and install the Nvidia graphics card drivers from
> their site, am I violating the GPL as an end-user? I was thinking the the
> GPL mainly covered what you are allowed or not allowed to do if you
> distribute software. I ask because I saw on the OpenSuse site a statement to
> the effect that OpenSuse would not ship Nvidia, Ati drivers because some
> kernel developers consider them a violation of their copyrights.

Users, in general, can't violate the GPL. You're free to do whatever you
want to your own system. As long as you don't further give the drivers to
others, you're in the clear.

The reason OpenSuse won't ship it is because they *would* be giving the
drivers to others. And one of these days NVidia may have to address the
status of the binary blobs they distribute (their non-Linux blob and
open shim layer isn't obviously illegal, but it isn't obviously legal either).

But if you download an NVidia driver for use on *your* system, and never
redistribute it, NVidia may have a problem for distributing it to *you*,
but you're in the clear.

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