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Slashdot: GPL Violation - Nvidia

May 01, 2000, 05:52 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by emmett)

"The General Public License is a powerful license with a powerful ideology. The GPL forbids use of GPL'ed code in closed-source, proprietary software. The model has already proven itself, but sometimes mistakes happen. GPL'ed code found its way into a closed-source kernel module; Nvidia's proprietary beta Xfree86 driver. This is the story about how mistakes happen, and how they can be fixed with polite communication."

"Ralph Metzler is just another one of those 'thousands of developers' you hear about developing software for Linux. Ralph was checking out the sources for the Linux 2.3 kernel, and he noticed that a chunk of memory conversion routines were copied line for line out of his bttv.c video driver source into Nvidia's code."

"Tony Bennett at Nvidia grabbed a small amount of bttv.c and integrated it into the Xfree86 driver, without realizing that the code was GPL'ed. Nvidia was contacted about this oversight, and politely responded in a positive way to Ralph. I got to talk to Ralph to see how it all worked out."

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