"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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