"Open Source Constitution"?

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Sun Apr 10 01:31:10 UTC 2005

>  nobody, not a Linux vendor, nor ATI or nVidia, can redistribute the 
> combination of a Linux kernel and their proprietary drivers, due to 
> GPL #7.
Eben could probably explain it better. He's said he'd go after them if 
given the opportunity. I know of two arguments:

There are several components in play: the Linux kernel, a proprietary 
"adapter" driver that dynamicaly copies an nVidia OS-independent binary 
module into the Linux kernel, an nVidia OS-independent binary module, 
and installation software that automaticaly builds the adapter, loads 
it, and then loads the OS-independent part via the adapter.

1. All of this constitutes a process constructed by nVidia to create the 
copy remotely according to their instructions. Distribution of the 
process is tantamount to distribution of the copy itself.

2. The process is a technical device constructed to deliberately 
circumvent the license, and thus the case should be interpreted as if 
the license is not circumvented.



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