NVIDIA has sent NGOHQ.com, the makers and host of the “SLI Patch”, a Cease and Desist letter requesting (demanding) NGOHQ stop distributing the software that NVIDIA alleges circumvents their copyrights afforded to them under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). The “patch” in question is software derived from the PowerExpress utility created by ULi that allowed “SLI” operation on ULi M1697 chipsets. Enterprising community members adapted that ULi software to allow SLI operation on not just the M1697, but also on Intel chipsets like the 955X and 975X.
While the patch did not guarantee a 100% success rate (it didn’t work for me when I tried it), it did allow a some users access to SLI-like performance with two matched NVIDIA graphics cards. This patch, though not perfect, was an important part in freeing SLI from the confines of nForce chipsets which NVIDIA has interpreted as a circumvention of their software protection.
All of this comes right on the heels of our review of the EPoX EP-9U1697 GLI motherboard, which was given a Gold Award partly because of its ability to use two NVIDIA graphics cards for better performance. It is unclear at this point how this case will affect ULI chipset motherboards which is now owned by NVIDIA.
Discuss this in our forum and let us know what you think of this issue!
“We are counsel for NVIDIA Corporation (“NVIDIA”). We write to express our client’s very serious concerns about the “SLI” patch that is being offered to Internet users on your website at http://www.ngohq.com/.
Your website purports to offer a “SLI Patch” (“SLI Patch”) to users of your website apparently for the purpose of combining multiple graphics boards based on chips from providers other than NVIDIA. We have attached an exemplar of such use at Exhibit A to this letter. Your SLI Patch appears intended to circumvent NVIDIA’s measures to protect its copyrights. Based on the foregoing, NVIDIA has claims against you for violations of the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act…”
- In October 2003 – NVIDIA sends Cease and Desist to Omega for custom-made drivers
- Original launch of the SLI patch – there is some irony in the commentary I posted then.
- Learn about DMCA on Wikipedia
- Google search of Boingboing DMCA stories
- Our EPoX EP-9U1697 GLI motherboard review