[linux-audio-user] Interesting Tidbit: The Midas XL8 uses Linux

Jan Depner eviltwin69 at cableone.net
Mon Jun 12 18:51:54 EDT 2006

On Sun, 2006-06-11 at 13:34 -0400, Lee Revell wrote:
> On Sun, 2006-06-11 at 01:29 -0500, Jan Depner wrote:
> > That's the consensus among kernel people.  Not lawyers.  Take it to
> > court first.  It has zero chance in that venue. 
> Can you cite any precedents?
> The kernel people I am referring to have talked to their lawyers about
> it and the consensus is that a driver is a derived work of the OS that
> it is developed for.

    If the driver is part of the kernel then that is true.  If it is a
module then it isn't.  The whole thing is moot though until someone
takes it to court.  I seriously doubt that anyone will be willing to try
to win that battle when they face the possibility of losing and being
counter sued for court and legal costs.

> Look at some driver source some day - it's basically impossible to write
> a driver without using any kernel APIs - driver model, spinlocks, etc.

    My understanding of the NVIDIA driver is that it uses an open module
to work with a closed module (BLOB).  What you have been saying is that
the intent of the vendor to only develop the closed module for Linux
makes it a violation of the GPL and this is obviously not true.  There
is no infringement in the closed module.  They're not using any GPL'ed
code.  This is why we have binary modules now.  At any rate, as I said
above, until someone wants to take it to court it doesn't matter.
NVIDIA will continue to make closed drivers and so will other vendors.

Jan 'Evil Twin' Depner
The Fuzzy Dice

"As we enjoy great advantages from the invention of others, we should be 
glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and 
this we should do freely and generously."

Benjamin Franklin, on declining patents offered by the governor of 
Pennsylvania for his "Pennsylvania Fireplace", c. 1744

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