Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Nov 2006 23:05 UTC, submitted by SEJeff
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Mark Shuttleworth is trying to entice OpenSUSE developers to join Ubuntu. "Novell's decision to go to great lengths to circumvent the patent framework clearly articulated in the GPL has sent shockwaves through the community. If you are an OpenSUSE developer who is concerned about the long term consequences of this pact, you may be interested in some of the events happening next week as part of the Ubuntu Open Week."
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miscz
Member since:
2005-07-17

I think the loophole is that binary driver developers use a layer which is compatible with GPL but also allows linking to binary blobs. It's a gray area but seems OK with most kernel developers.
Distros don't ship binary drivers for two reasons:
-free software philosophy
-need for agreement with company that created the driver

I might be wrong too though ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

Rocinante Member since:
2005-11-18

Thanks ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

..AND the fact that the Linux API may change at some point, making a binary driver unusable until the company cares to change it, compile it and distribute it again. Remember the infamous case of the SM56 Motorola softmodem, who got its own binary driver for exactly one kernel version, Mandrake something or other and then never again.

Reply Parent Score: 1

miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

I might be wrong, but since the layer/wrapper between kernel and binary driver is open source it's not like it will be this much of a problem. NVidia drivers installer can compile this layer against custom kernels (but has some precompiled ones for major distros/kernels too).

Reply Parent Score: 1