Defence of the GPL realm (The H)
Posted Dec 19, 2012 1:43 UTC (Wed) by JoeBuck
In reply to: Defence of the GPL realm (The H)
Parent article: Defence of the GPL realm (The H)
The FSF managed to get Steve Jobs and NeXT to back down on their attempt to use user-does-the-link to get a GCC-based proprietary Objective-C compiler. The argument is that if your R&D team has a running system that combines GPL and proprietary code in one executable, and you build a mechanism that arranges for the same executable to appear on your customer's system, you've made a copy of a work that is derivative of the GPL work, and the technical details of the process don't matter. The lawyers can use abstraction: look, we have a communication channel that makes a perfect copy! How this channel operates does not matter, only the I/O does.
But in that case, the components were very tightly coupled: the Objective-C extensions were designed to work with GCC and not with anything else. For NVidia, the driver binary blob is the same for Windows and Linux, only the shim layer is different and they give you the code for that. That would probably present a much tougher case for someone interested in suing for infringement, especially since NVidia isn't distributing the kernel itself.
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