"Open Source Constitution"?

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Sat Apr 9 21:42:02 UTC 2005

Chuck Swiger wrote:

> 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.

I don't want the code that runs /in/ their GPU. I want the code for the 
Linux kernel driver.

> Also, which license are the nVidia and ATI drivers infringing?

The GPL license on the Linux kernel, for their driver. The GLX library 
which they link into X does not - at least at first glance - appear to 
be an infringing product.

>   Futhermore, can't you simply access these cards using the VESA 
> standard interface to get a simple 2D linear framebuffer...?

That's immaterial to the question of infringement.

> 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. 

If you are talking about user-mode components, that's also immaterial. 
Let me assure you that the Debian team has never taken the copyright 
terms of any work for granted. Indeed, I wrote the Open Source 
Definition just to help the Debian team get this right.



More information about the License-discuss mailing list