hypothetical(?) GPL problem

Marc Eberhard m.a.eberhard at aston.ac.uk
Fri Jun 22 08:05:40 UTC 2001

Hi Frank!

On Thu, Jun 21, 2001 at 04:35:57PM +0200, Frank Heckenbach wrote:
> Marc Eberhard wrote:
> > their users, that they use a known good lib for their program. So maybe one
> > should only enforce to _acknowledge_ the usage of a free lib by closed
> Like this?
> (LGPL, ยง6 which is about using LGPL libraries in non-free programs)

Yes, exactly. :-)

> > > And yes, the more I think about the original question, the more I'm
> > > convinced it can be done. Well, companies are already distributing
> > > binary stuff that the user must link with the Linux kernel (like the
> > > disk-on-chip driver: I used it, no thanks).
> > 
> > And it brings me back to my original comment: Why should we want to do
> > anything against it?
> If this became the rule for hardware makers to do, it would soon be
> impossible to run a completely free Linux kernel on modern hardware.

Well, it seems, that most people here are quite pessimistic about the will
of the hardware manufacturers to cooperate. So one must come to the
conclusion, that they will be releasing more and more binaries instead of
less, if they're allowed to do so. Is that, because more and more parts of
the product are moved from hardware implementations to software, so that the
driver for that piece of hardware forms an essential part of the product and
thus the manufacturers want to hide it from their competitors?

As being optimistic by default, I see this as only one possibility. It could
also be, that they take the chance to concentrate on their core business,
being the production of hardware, and leave the driver part to others, which
most likely results in free drivers. Why do you think, that this scenario is
not realistic? Remember, that IBM didn't succeed with its MicroChannel
architecture. So I'm not yet convinced, that the hardware manufacturers
really like closed source drivers.


email: marc at greenie.net
email: m.a.eberhard at aston.ac.uk, web: http://www.aston.ac.uk/~eberhama/

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