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Re: [Richard Stallman <rms@gnu.org>] Re: Debian & BSD concerns

On Tue, Feb 23, 1999 at 11:11:44AM +1100, Craig Sanders wrote:
> > Two words: binary drivers.
> you don't have to use binary-only drivers if you don't want to. you can
> ignore their existence entirely.

You sometimes have no choice.  Modern video cards are all under NDA. 
Want 3D?  Tough, it's under NDA.  No free drivers.  Want DVD video? 
Under NDA, there is early development for one of the decoder cards but it
will be binary only.  Creative Labs is releasing all binary-only drivers
and recruited one of us to write them.  I could go on, but if you aren't
going to get the point you aren't going to get it.

> > If you ask me, that goes against everything the GPL stands for and yes
> > it can have a serious impact on Linux.
> only if you choose to use them.

only if you have a choice.

> it's impact is roughly the same (legally speaking) as choosing to use
> non-free application software on linux. i.e. it doesn't affect the fact
> that the kernel is under the GPL.

Ahh, right.  Well, I'll tell you what...  You show me a driver for a DVD
decoder that is not binary only.  There is at least one being developed,
but the author is under NDA.

"Do you think she's the sincere type? ... Yeah, I was afraid of that."
                        -- Richie Ryan, Highlander: The Series

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