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Re: X on new G4 Dual 533



On Thu, May 31, 2001 at 11:41:02AM -0300, Peter Cordes wrote:
> On Thu, May 31, 2001 at 08:14:18AM -0600, Pete Willemsen wrote:
> > Hi.  I'm also very new to Linux on a PPC.  Is it expected that these
> > newer PPCs with nvidia cards will actually have accelerated graphics
> > support via X at some point in the future?  For instance, will nvidia be
> > release PPC-based Linux drivers?  Something like this would solidify my
> > purchase of a new G4.
> 
>  I was thinking the other day that the GPL should require Nvidia to release
> source for their kernel module, if not libGL, etc.  The tarball comes with
> some GPL source code and a binary file.  The build process links the GPL'ed
> code and the binary file.  You can download an rpm of the resulting linked

this violates the GPL, the only way they may try to snicker out of it
is arguing that the person doing the compiling is doing the violation,
but i don't buy that when they distribute it all ready for that to be
done.  besides...

> file.  Since GPLed code is linked in (thus putting the whole thing under the
> GPL), and they are distributing binaries, don't they have to distribute the
> whole source?

this is indeed a pure GPL violation, assuming the code your referring
to is truly GPL and not LGPL or something else.  i would investigate
this further and let someone know, the FSF i suppose.  

>  Note that this is a different argument from saying that binary-only kernel
> modules can't be allowed because the GPL (which they must be under to be
> linked into the kernel) requires availability of source.

no Linus (IMO foolishly) added an exception, or rather an
interpretation of the GPL as far as kernel modules go, he claims that
its not linking and thus the linking clause is not triggered by binary
modules, PROVIDED that they only use public headers or something like
that.  (this is discussed in recent LWN articles).  

>  Nvidia's case is special because they provide precompiled binaries that
> come from (partly, and therefore totally) GPL sources, as well as some of
> the GPLed source (which is how we know that the code is GPL).  They are
> trying to have their cake and eat it too, by releasing source for a wrapper

they are a parasite in other words. 

> around their main driver, so they only need to compile the binary for a few
> popular distributions, and let people with custom kernels do it themselves.
> I think it would have worked if the wrapper had been under the X license or
> pretty much anything other than the GPL!

if they are linking code with GPLed code other then in the form of the
kernel module you have found a violation.  

>  Thanks Nvidia... I think.  I hope I'm right about this.

i hope so too.  

-- 
Ethan Benson
http://www.alaska.net/~erbenson/

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