[linux-elitists] ultra 20 m2

Steven Critchfield le@drunkenlogic.com
Thu Jul 12 11:24:51 PDT 2007

On Thu, 2007-07-12 at 11:14 -0700, Sloan wrote:
> Rick Moen wrote:
> > Perhaps you mean "The charge is contested by people who either don't
> > understand copyright law or are paid to behave that way."
> >
> >   
> Admittedly I'm a techie, not a lawyer, so my view of the situation may
> differ from yours. So, you're a lawyer then, or at least have a good
> understanding of copyright law? If so, please humor this poor geek and
> help me understand something - if the nvidia driver is a derivative of
> the linux kernel, how can I reconcile that idea with the existence of
> the solaris, freebsd and windoze drivers? IIUC the windoze drivers
> predate the linux ones by some years.

A derivative work is one that _INCORPORATES_ portions of other code. The
base of the driver may well be the same driver they have used in Windows
for some years. In fact, I doubt any code regarding hardware interaction
is from linux. The trouble is where the driver had to have access to the
kernel structures and methods to coexist. At this point they have had to
incorporate portions of the linux code to interoperate. 

This is why some people consider the GPL to be a viral license.
Specifically if you can't stay at arms distance from it, your are likely
going to be required to release under the terms of the GPL.

Steven Critchfield <le@drunkenlogic.com>

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