Re: Linux GPL and binary module exception clause?

From: Ihar 'Philips' Filipau
Date: Fri Dec 05 2003 - 09:57:32 EST

Stefan Smietanowski wrote:
Helge Hafting wrote:

Ihar 'Philips' Filipau wrote:

GPL is about distribution.

e.g. NVidia can distribute .o file (with whatever license they have to) and nvidia.{c,h} files (even under GPL license).
Then may do on behalf of user "gcc nvidia.c blob.o -o nvidia.ko". Resulting module are not going to be distributed - it is already at hand of end-user. So no violation of GPL whatsoever.

Open source still win if they do this. Anybody interested
may then read the restricted source and find out how
the chip works. They may then write an open driver
from scratch, using the knowledge.

What I think he means is that nvidia.c only contains glue code and
blob.o contains the secret parts just like the current driver from

Source code licensing from second parties is really pain in the ass.

At my previous job I had situation that piece of code was several times. I beleive we were fourth company who bought it and incorporated into applience. But ask anyone "what kind of rights do we have for this stuff?" - no-one really can answer, since we-are-not-lawyers so better to tell no-one how we use it. Probably we even had no rights to fix bugs... who knows?..

Ihar 'Philips' Filipau / with best regards from Saarbruecken.
-- _ _ _
Because the kernel depends on it existing. "init" |_|*|_|
literally _is_ special from a kernel standpoint, |_|_|*|
because its' the "reaper of zombies" (and, may I add, |*|*|*|
that would be a great name for a rock band).
-- Linus Torvalds

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