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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drynwhyl
Member since:
2006-05-14

> Now the kernel wrapper is compiled against the kernel,
> which puts it under GPL licensing. Yet it is
> distributed linked to a binary blob and distributed
> from nvidia's own public server
> (ftp://download.nvidia.com/novell). Clearly this would
> be a violation, so how are they doing it?

Nvidia shouls have no problems doing this, since they own the copyright on both the GPL wrapper, and the binary blob. As a developer, you have to GPL the _wrapper_ because its a derivative work of the kernel, but your ovn binary blob isnt a derivative of the kernel, since the same blob is used for example on windows.

One now could argue whether the blob is a derivative work of the wrapper or not, but it isnt a derivative of the kernel and it certainly doesnt stop Nvidia distribute it under any licence they as the developers see fit. Also i dont know if this wrapper can perform some function _without_ the blob, so that one could argument it not depending on the binary blob.

As how they are doing it: They just violate the GPL when distributing the wrapper under the GPL, and hope to be so valuable for the Linux community, that nobody would enforce the GPL in their case. And nobody has done it yet for precisely the same reason.

Ubuntu should have an even larger problem, since redistributing the blob which depends on the GPL wrapper to work would be an even more clear GPL violation.

We just have to wait until someone tries to enforce the GPL in this case, if Shuttleworth and Nvidia exaggregate their GPL violations. My bet would go for GKH & Co. and for an successfull cease and desist against Ubuntu and also against Nvidia. It would just be stupid to do it _now_ or soon, since Nvidia doesnt really depend on selling their cards to some few linux users. They should wait until not GPLing the blob would hurt Nvidias sales so much, that they couldnt violate the GPL nor completely ignore the linux community.

Edited 2006-11-25 09:51

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