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Bickering Continues About NVIDIA Using DMA-BUF

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  • There are basically only three solutions to this problem:

    1) Change the license of Linux to make module linking more permissive
    2) Change the license of the Nvidia driver to be GPL-compatible
    3) Design and implement a new interface that doesn't create derivative works when modules link to it

    There is no "Alan and Linus relent and decide it's okay" option. They don't have that authority under copyright law.

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    • Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
      There are basically only three solutions to this problem:
      1) Change the license of Linux to make module linking more permissive
      Very unlikely to happen.

      Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
      2) Change the license of the Nvidia driver to be GPL-compatible
      When hell freezes over.

      Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
      3) Design and implement a new interface that doesn't create derivative works when modules link to it
      Seriously, how could that be accomplished?

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      • I never said any of the options were especially realistic possibilities.

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        • Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
          I never said any of the options were especially realistic possibilities.
          Yeah, sorry.
          Your last sentence actually made that pretty clear.

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          • Originally posted by GT220 View Post
            One can only hope Alan Cox and every retarded kernel dev including Linus "Fuck You" Torvalds will die a horrible, slow, painful death.
            that's because EMS equipment would have power management issues like linux and fry them to a crisp.

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            • Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
              The whole defence for Nvidia's driver (and the reason why Linus tolerates it, despite hating it) is that it is a driver which runs on several operating systems and as such it is not derivative of the Linux kernel, it merely interfaces with it. It does the same thing on all systems, so it can run just fine without Linux. It ran on Windows before it ran on Linux, and it can run just fine without Linux, so there is a good argument that the current blob is not derivative of Linux kernel code.

              However, if you start adding functionality which uses specialised internal functions of the GPLed kernel, which only exists in the Linux kernel, and for the express purpose of tight cooperation with other (partly GPL) drivers which only exist inside the Linux kernel, then it is hard to argue that these parts of your blob are not derivative work of the kernel. You can argue the X11 also works on BSDs, so it's not derivative of that, but DMA_BUF is Linux-only, and GPL to boot. You can't claim it's generic: without Linux, it cannot possibly work. It was especially written only to work with a special, Linux-only subsystem. That's as derivative as you can get. And if you GPL those parts as per licence requirements, then you have to GPL it all.

              Nvidia's strategy worked well as long as they didn't touch any part of Linux and did it all themselves. Optimus screwed them up -- you can't avoid GPL code, and you can't simply wish the licence away like they are trying to.
              This is an excellent summary of the situation. I wanted to post it again, so it doesn't get lost in the middle of that troll-fest.

              It's unfortunate that so many people are unable to look at the situation from a legal standpoint like this. All people seem to want to do is blame someone (both sides do this) and advocate doing things that blatantly break the law.

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              • Originally posted by entropy View Post
                Seriously, how could that be accomplished?
                I can think of one possibility:

                NVidia could implement DMA-BUF on one of the BSDs their driver supports.

                The Oracle/Google lawsuit over Java established fairly clearly that an API is not copyrighted, so NVidia should be clear to implement a clean-room version of the DMA-BUF API on top of the BSD kernel of their choice.

                If there are any parts of the API that don't match up cleanly across the BSD/Linux divide, they should just abstract that away. They can then commit those abstractions back into the linux DMA-BUF code under the GPL license, and still be good to go.

                Then they just need to add that into their driver, and they can claim that it's a common API across multiple OS's which means that it can't be making their code a derivative of the linux kernel (gpl2) code.
                Last edited by smitty3268; 10-18-2012, 10:46 PM.

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                • This is of course the main problem with GPL and the zealots. Linux needs a different license, probably BSD or MIT or something in between a permissive license and the GPL, but it's not possible to ask every developer who ever contributed to Linux to do that. All that's necessary is to dual-license the related code under a more permissive license, but that would make Alan Cox bitch like a human centipede.

                  Alan Cox and Linus Torvalds, the 2 big mouths who haven't really written anything meaningful in the last 10 years tell nvidia to fuck off when they are actually trying to integrate better with Linux. There's now a good chance that nvidia will simply tell those two to fuck off in return.

                  FreeBSD will have no problem taking over the Linux/nvidia market because their license is vastly superior and isn't driven by communist philosophy
                  Last edited by joe_gunner; 10-18-2012, 11:14 PM.

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                  • Originally posted by devguy View Post
                    So, nVidia is being Cox blocked?
                    Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
                    Originally posted by LLStarks View Post
                    I SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE THE NVIDIA BLOB AND DMA-BUF AS I SEE FIT FOR MY OWN PERSONAL NEEDS.
                    And you are. There is nothing saying that you can't do that. You just need to get the source code of the blob and then compile it to link and work with DMA-BUF. For your personal needs only, of course, not distribution.
                    brilliant !

                    Originally posted by kirillkh View Post
                    Alan has been very vocal about rejecting the NVIDIA-requested change as he doesn't want NVIDIA's binary -- but widely-used -- graphics driver to support the DMA-BUF infrastructure.
                    This is simply a slander. It says little about Alan, but much about Michael.
                    indeed, fucking shameful :/

                    Originally posted by TheCycoONE View Post
                    It sounds like a lot of people here would rather be using BSD.
                    my thoughts exactly. and yet, *BSD isn't very popular among such people (other, maybe, as a server OS in their workplace), with its almost complete lack of desktop support features (like any decent open-source video-drivers), go figure !

                    Originally posted by Rigaldo View Post
                    So even if I mostly said that as a joke, I stand by it, since I'd prefer the best experience for Linux users and the best fate for Linux.
                    like they say: "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".
                    sometimes you just have to stop acting like a bitch and doing reprehensible things, even if they feel good.

                    Originally posted by boast View Post
                    No room for people who just care about getting the best, be it open or closed. Gotta choose one extreme or the other.
                    uh-huh, you can't just be going around, while taking and doing anything you like / deem "best" for yourself. gotta make compromises, have moral & ethical borders.

                    _
                    and all of you, but-what's-the-point-of-a-Free-OS-without-our-lovely-proprietary-crap-motherfuckers, please, go fuck yourself and, after that, go buy yourself some Windows® licences. m'kay ?

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                    • if you link against the kernel in windows, is that derivative work?

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                      • So NVIDIA needs to stop development of driver to develop infrasctructure for the system that his developers could use to write their drivers...

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                        • Originally posted by garegin View Post
                          if you link against the kernel in windows, is that derivative work?
                          Yes, it can be. But MS allows it with their proprietary license conditions. The GPL does not.

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                          • Originally posted by medeiros View Post
                            So NVIDIA needs to stop development of driver to develop infrasctructure for the system that his developers could use to write their drivers...
                            Either that, or stop trying to use GPL code others have written. The alternative is for them to come up with their own proprietary buffer sharing code, put it in their driver, and then convince the other linux driver writers to play nice with it. That's probably less work for them, although it might be a struggle to convince everyone to play nicely with nvidia's API.

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                            • Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                              Either that, or stop trying to use GPL code others have written. The alternative is for them to come up with their own proprietary buffer sharing code, put it in their driver, and then convince the other linux driver writers to play nice with it. That's probably less work for them, although it might be a struggle to convince everyone to play nicely with nvidia's API.
                              So the best idea is just forget about optimus support on linux...

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                              • This is simple ... this code has a licensing, and as a loong time policy in the kernel development is to let the Author hold the rights of his own work (that's why re-licensing to GPLv3 was practically impossible when that debate came up), that means that the only person that is able to change/add the actual contract (license) is the copyright holder (the author).

                                So, if Alan wrote it ... and he doesn't want to re-license or add an exception, then i't simple: shut the fuck up, it's the copyright holder decision and need as much respect as the decision to allow exceptions.
                                If this situation didn't change (example: dma-buf being reimplemented by an author ok with creating a drop-in remplacement with the exception), is not because Alan being monarch (really? blaming on him? cheap shot), simply because everyone seems to agree with that.

                                So yeah, move along ... nothing to see here
                                Oh, and btw ... nVIDIA isn't developing linux drivers just for being "cool", they have a clear attitude showing it when they don't even release docs ... they do because they have paying customers, and as long they have paying customers, they'll provide drivers for the platforms.

                                No need to play the "I feel insignificant, I need their help and I have to be friendly with them so they continue to provide drivers" syndrome ... they'll stay as long as it pay the bills, and it does.
                                Linux will continue to evolve without having ballast thanks to those pricks ... move along

                                Regards.

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