"Open Source Constitution"?
chuck at codefab.com
Sat Apr 9 20:40:33 UTC 2005
Bruce Perens wrote:
> Chuck Swiger wrote:
>> What about people with wireless cards who have to upload a proprietary
>> binary object to the card's firmware?
> It's not running on the same CPU. It's proprietary software, but the
> relationship is one of aggregation, or will be once we can move the
> BLOBs out of the kernel source and use the request_firmware interface to
> access them.
Hmm. Let's pass on whether a Linux system which contains proprietary binary
objects on the filesystem-- regardless of where that software runs-- is free
of proprietary software, for one second.
>> what about the nVidia and ATI video drivers which provide 3D
> IMO they are infringing works.
How is this case different from the wireless driver case? Both nVidia and ATI
refer to their products as having GPUs, where the video rendering is done by a
seperate, dedicated "Graphics Processor Unit", rather than by the main CPU.
Also, which license are the nVidia and ATI drivers infringing?
Last I checked, one could run Linux without installing X11. X11 is an
optional component, and is under the MIT/X11 license, not the GPL.
Futhermore, can't you simply access these cards using the VESA standard
interface to get a simple 2D linear framebuffer...?
I suppose it's mostly harmless if people forget that Linux contains a lot of
software which predates the GPL and is under different licenses. It's not
quite so harmless to suggest that nVidia or ATI's drivers are infringing works
based upon such confusion, however.
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