"Licensed" codecs

Pavel Rosenboim pavelr at coresma.com
Tue Sep 23 17:47:14 UTC 2003

Sam Steingold wrote:

>>* Pavel Rosenboim <cnirye at pberfzn.pbz> [2003-09-23 20:09:56 +0300]:
>>Alan Cox wrote:
>>>>>Consult a lawyer. The definition of 'derivative' is complicated to
>>>>>say the least.  For actual GPL code the GPL itself deliberately
>>>>>takes a "free nor not at all" approach.
>>>>There exist non-GPLd kernel modules, though (NVIDIA drivers,etc...).
>>>>Do you want to say that they are illegal?
> the _modules_ are of course legal (as in "you can write and use them
> yourself"), but you cannot _distribute_ them without the sources,
> at least according to the way FSF interprets GPL.

Well, NVIDIA distributes its modules without sources, and so do other

> If the copyright holders of the Linux kernel think differently (and, but
> all means, it is their right!), they might consider adding a clause
> which clarifies what they mean, like the CLISP maintainers did in their
> COPYRIGHT file [1].

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