I’m interested in discussing the challenges and considerations related to distributing NVIDIA Orin to our customers, particularly concerning licensing issues in Section 2.1 of the NVIDIA Software License Agreement.
We plan to re-sell and bundle Orin with our stand alone proprietary software and want to ensure we comply with all relevant licensing terms and legal requirements!
Despite my extensive search on the forum here, I have not found real clarifications on this matter. Therefore, I would appreciate insights from the community regarding what’s considered acceptable and what’s not when distributing Orin.
If you’ve encountered situations where distributing Orin raised licensing concerns or have successfully integrated Orin with proprietary software while adhering to licensing terms, please share your experiences.
Additionally, if anyone knows of a contact on the NVIDIA side who we can reach out to directly, it would be extremely helpful. While we can use the contact forms, we want to check if there is a group with expertise in Jetson products who can provide guidance.
Examples of acceptable practices, as well as situations where licensing issues arose and how they were addressed, would be greatly appreciated. Furthermore, insights into 3rd Party Procurement for Orin would be valuable.
Your insights and practical examples will be invaluable for navigating the licensing landscape effectively, especially considering any potential limitations on redistribution of the license.
This isn’t a full answer, and I’m sure NVIDIA will post, but this might be of use…
During flash a purely Ubuntu rootfs is the starting point. It is actually the end user which adds the NVIDIA content so far as drivers go (JetPack/SDK Manager automatically runs the “sudo ./apply_binaries.sh” script, or it can be run manually, and this puts drivers into the “Linux_for_Tegra/rootfs/” directory). Pretty much anything proprietary can go into a Linux system, but you have to make the distinction that you are not an owner of Linux itself, and have to make Linux software available. I don’t know all of the terms for NVIDIA, but they pretty much allow you to use the libraries freely without any special efforts (except perhaps leaving the license files you might have on the system) so long as you don’t try to claim ownership. Someone from NVIDIA can say if that is right/wrong.
If you take open source software, and derive from it, then you are bound to that licensing you inherited from deriving. Generally speaking though, linking against the libraries and making use of Linux is not something that would bind your software to a third party’s licensing. Just don’t do something like compile static code into your program, and stick to normal dynamic linking.
Incidentally, perhaps not what you are asking about, but still interesting, is that NVIDIA passes on a warranty when you use a separately purchased module and resell it, but the development kits do not pass along warranty. If you use an actual dev kit in your product, then any warranty is on you, but a module which is purchased separately and put on your carrier board passes on warranty to the end user.
Thanks @linuxdev for the initial guidance on distributing NVIDIA Orin and adhering to licensing terms. I’m still in the process of understanding the basics, and a few specific questions remain unanswered:
Is there an export control code for the software?
Can we redistribute the entire L4T package commercially?
Is consolidated license info for L4T available?
Any restrictions on redistributing a modified L4T?
I’m also keen to speak with someone in NVIDIA’s legal department for specialized queries.
Additionally, I’ve received advice suggesting that building our own Linux distribution on Yocto might be the most advisable route, considering NVIDIA’s meta layers for the Orin platform. Would anyone here recommend going this route for easier license management and product distribution?
Advice on third-party procurement for Orin would also be valuable.
I don’t know about export controls. Even base Linux might have some export control over some aspects of its encryption features (e.g., even ssh might have something going on with export…I have no way to answer). I don’t personally know of any details on this, so NVIDIA would have to answer all export control questions.
Thanks @linuxdev for your continuous effort to help with my questions. I have one more. Aren’t there any representatives from nVidia here? The ambiguity around licensing issues is quite challenging. How is one expected to operate a business and offer this to customers without clear answers on this topic? I’ve seen multiple people seeking answers and nobody doesn’t care (or dare) to answer.