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Thread: AMD's Hiring Another Open-Source Driver Developer

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    That may be. I apologize for the insult. In the US, it works differently.
    the Patent law in general is not for privat use

    you can pick up any patent number and build it for your own.

    also in the USA.

    means it does not work differently!

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qaridarium View Post
    the Patent law in general is not for privat use

    you can pick up any patent number and build it for your own.
    Nope. Non-commercial use of a patent is still legally infringing in the US. From the actual statute (emphasis mine):

    Whoever without authority imports into the United States or offers to sell, sells, or uses within the United States a product which is made by a process patented in the United States shall be liable as an infringer, if the importation, offer to sell, sale, or use of the product occurs during the term of such process patent.
    The only times commercial vs noncommercial uses are mentioned at all are in relation to drugs and medicine. All other patentable subject matter is covered by a different set of rules, as illustrated above.

    Are you going to get sued if you infringe on some patent in your own home? Very unlikely, but it's still possible.

  3. #93
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    Trying to get politicians to change the law would be a very long and difficult road. Wouldn't it be a little bit easier to get Khronos to only accept patent-free specifications? It would be nice if we could apply pressure to them to get Khronos to put pressure on it's partners to not patent their specifications. I admit I'm not certain how the related patents work so my suggestion might not be workable.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prescience500 View Post
    Trying to get politicians to change the law would be a very long and difficult road.
    True, but a very worthwhile one.

    We've accomplished bigger changes in the political landscape in recent decades.

    Wouldn't it be a little bit easier to get Khronos to only accept patent-free specifications?
    No. Khronos isn't in the business of deciding what the hardware does, it's only in the business of defining an API to access the capabilities hardware has. Retarding OpenGL for the sake of being amenable to Free/Open implementations just screws over OpenGL users on other platforms. Given the options, I'd rather just not support Linux (with Free drivers, at least) rather than avoid the usage of things like floating point textures, which are pretty much mandatory for a lot of modern effects.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    True, but a very worthwhile one.

    We've accomplished bigger changes in the political landscape in recent decades.
    do you actually believe that the majority of the people care/understand about software patents???

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    Nope. Non-commercial use of a patent is still legally infringing in the US. From the actual statute (emphasis mine):

    The only times commercial vs noncommercial uses are mentioned at all are in relation to drugs and medicine. All other patentable subject matter is covered by a different set of rules, as illustrated above.

    Are you going to get sued if you infringe on some patent in your own home? Very unlikely, but it's still possible.
    you mix a lot of stuff and you spam me with "sell" bullshit

    SELL never EVER legal!

    so stop spaming me with trash i never talk about sell something.

    i also do not talk abour noncomercial/Caritas use

    i only talk about:

    Studie,Teach,self use for your own and only for you own are free.


    so you can write a book about teach and studie openGL4 technics and the users can SELF write and SELF build for there own home use at home for learning and studi the technic.

    this is 100% legal.

    what is not legal: pay a dev to write the code

    Because the dev do not use the patent/code for teach or studie or home self use.

    this OpenGL4 driver can not be used by companys or people to earn money with and not for Caritas lika hospitals or something else.

    yes this is not an opensource driver because you can't sell it and you only can deliver this 'studie' driver as a not working sourcen code.

  7. #97

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    Q, i realize english is not your native language, so since it is mine, let me explain the meaning of the the section he quoted.

    the "or uses" phrase in that quote means that using, on its own, apart from any other stated case in that quote, constitutes patent infringement.

    he is 100% correct about the fact that using a software that infringes on patents is illegal in the US.

  8. #98
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    I guess AMD could become the official provider of ATI Mesa drivers in a binary form (Mesa is not GPL, so this is legal) and those drivers would be installed the same way the proprietary drivers are. This way the community would be able to make full-featured drivers and AMD would take care of all the patent issues. The source code would still be available in the official repositories if someone wanted to compile everything from source. Is this idea feasible?

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by 89c51 View Post
    do you actually believe that the majority of the people care/understand about software patents???
    The majority of people never cared/understood a lot of things they do today. It takes effort to get the word out.

    You don't actually need a majority, though. Congress isn't going to put software patents up to a vote by the people. You just need enough of the people who do already understand and care to actually bitch loudly enough to Congress instead of just bitching loudly on irrelevant Internet forums.

    you mix a lot of stuff and you spam me with "sell" bullshit
    You do realize that "or" does not mean the same thing as "und" right? Or are you just too lazy to read an entire sentence?

    so you can write a book about teach and studie openGL4 technics and the users can SELF write and SELF build for there own home use at home for learning and studi the technic.
    If you mean a book about the OpenGL 4 API, of course you can. Applications using OpenGL 4 aren't infringing on any patent. OpenGL itself -- and implementations thereof -- are what infringe on the patents in question.

    For example, the floating-point texture patent:

    SGI owns US Patent #6,650,327, issued November 18, 2003. SGI
    believes this patent contains necessary IP for graphics systems
    implementing floating point (FP) rasterization and FP framebuffer
    capabilities.
    Only the implementation of rasterization and framebuffers is affected. If you read the patent, it's actually almost arguable that the patent only affects the hardware, not the software at all... but IANAL and may be misinterpreting some of the legal terms there-in. Interestingly, using 64-bit double-precision formats actually avoids the patent altogether (though there may be another patent on that, for all I know).

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by marek View Post
    The source code would still be available in the official repositories if someone wanted to compile everything from source. Is this idea feasible?
    The problem is that AMD would probably have to pay extra licensing fees, which doesn't really net them any extra profit in return (because Linux users needing access to those features already have and use the proprietary drivers). It's possible AMD is paying a flat per-year fee or just paid a lump sum or even just cross-licensed some patents, but it's just as possible that they're paying a fee per software unit shipped. If the fees they pay are not tied to software, then yes, it's possible they could include a binary component (much like Intel supposedly did, if I recall) that includes those extra features which plugs into the Mesa drivers. Assuming, of course, that Mesa has the rest of the code in place to actually allow the drivers to implement the feature (Mesa's architecture is a little convoluted).

    We do not have any idea what the terms are of the contract between AMD and SGI (and others), so it's impossible for us to really speculate much unless AMD wants to open up. Which they may not be legally able to do, again depending on the contract terms. Those contracts often have NDA clauses simply for market reasons. If a company publicly says "we pay $X for the rights to this patent" then if the patent-holder tried to charge $X+1 to another company for the same patent, the new licensee would argue that the other company got a better deal and have more power to haggle the patent-holder down.

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