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July 2014
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Re: Hooks for binary only parts?

We don't know. They might. It depends.

The obvious example is copy protection. The MPAA is under this hilarious delusion that they can protect the bits all the way from the DVD to the screen. Part of that is setting up HDCP on the video cable. ATI probably can't tell us how that works, because if they did, we could just turn it off, and then OMG PIRACY. So what will likely happen there is the driver will just not do HDCP normally, and if you want to sell a fully licensed DVD player that runs linux, you'll just add that as a plugin.

You can either do this by maintaining the hooks in the open code, or by maintaining your own internal branch of the code that you only give to people who pay for it (ie, people building an appliance). Or maintain that in fglrx, I suppose. And, yeah, if the open source community decides they don't want that kind of closed hook in the open code, there's not a lot AMD can do about that, so option 1 might not be an option at all.

Again, the intention here is not to cripple the open drivers, or to require some magic closed blob to make things 30% faster. That doesn't help anyone, AMD included. They really do want to enable as much as they can in the open drivers to make their hardware look good. And, let's face it, copy protection makes their hardware - any hardware - look bad.

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