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chronos

Why is NVIDIA's Cg compiler license so restrictive?

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After downloading NVIDIA''s Cg Toolkit and proceeding with the installation I noticed that the license agreement for the Cg compiler says it can only be installed on a single computer and cannot be shared or used concurrently on different computers. Isn''t it ridiculous to attach such restrictive terms to a file that is freely downloadable? The terms would mean that programmers within a company have to share a single installation of the Cg compiler, and it would also mean that individuals who download the Cg compiler may not make a copy of the download for their friends. All this seems so silly for software that can be downloaded freely from NVIDIA''s website. As an enemy of overreaching End-User License Agreements I am very reluctant to use this software. How do you guys feel about NVIDIA''s licensing terms?

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Why to bother with that.


They probably didi that because it was easier to pass by internal bureucracy of their own licensing department.

If brute force does not solve your problem....you''re not using enough!

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Do you have to give them some kind of information to download the compiler? If so, it could be why the license is such: they want to gather as much information as they can for their direct mailing initiatives.

Its not that big of deal, its their bandwidth anyways.

Using free software that is not open source is always a precarious situation. Most of these kind of licenses state that the terms can change at any time and without notice. Being a hobbyist programmer, it doesn''t make much difference to me, but from a commercial stand point, I would never use software with such a license.

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They're not asking for any registration information, so that can't be the reason. I can't imagine why NVidia would want to adopt such a restrictive license. It's not like they're selling a commercial version of the Cg Compiler, it it? So why all the fuss?

Surely there are companies with more than one person who writes shaders in Cg, aren't there? Do those companies ask NVidia for permission to install the software on more than one computer? They're in violation of the license if they don't, and they might not even know it. Perhaps I should write NVidia asking for an ammendment to the license?

Here are NVidia's actual terms regarding installation of the Cg Compiler:
quote:
2.1.1 Rights. Customer may install and use one copy of the SOFTWARE on a single computer, and except for making one back-up copy of the Software, may not otherwise copy the SOFTWARE. This LICENSE of SOFTWARE may not be shared or used concurrently on different computers.

2.1.2 Academic Exception. Notwithstanding the foregoing terms of Section 2.1.1, academic departments at colleges and universities may share or distribute the SOFTWARE among multiple computers within a department.

2.1.3 Linux Exception. Notwithstanding the foregoing terms of Section 2.1.1, SOFTWARE designed exclusively for use on the Linux operating system may be copied and redistributed, provided that the binary files thereof are not modified in any way (except for unzipping of compressed files).
Are you in compliance?

[edited by - chronos on July 29, 2003 2:24:22 AM]

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It''s probably their standard, boiler-plate EULA. Get something commercially from them (ie., pay them money), and I''d be willing to bet that the EULA is almost exactly the same. Their legal department has probably created one template, and stipulated that all programs have to use it...

I wouldn''t worry about it. EULA''s are legally questionable as it is, and it doesn''t seem like nVidia''s too worried about enforcing this one anyhow.

-Odd the Hermit

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