From a legal standpoint (licensing issues), can I legally, in agreement with the license, publish Fortran 90 wrappers (bindings) to the CUFFT library from Nvidia CUDA Toolkit, under some open source license (either CC0, that is, public domain, or some kind of permissive license like BSD)?

Nvidia provides only C bindings with their CUDA SDK.

Header files contain the following text.

 * Copyright 1993-2011 NVIDIA Corporation.  All rights reserved.
 * This source code and/or documentation ("Licensed Deliverables") are
 * subject to NVIDIA intellectual property rights under U.S. and
 * international Copyright laws.
 * These Licensed Deliverables contained herein is PROPRIETARY and
 * CONFIDENTIAL to NVIDIA and is being provided under the terms and
 * conditions of a form of NVIDIA software license agreement by and
 * between NVIDIA and Licensee ("License Agreement") or electronically
 * accepted by Licensee.  Notwithstanding any terms or conditions to
 * the contrary in the License Agreement, reproduction or disclosure
 * of the Licensed Deliverables to any third party without the express
 * written consent of NVIDIA is prohibited.

The License.txt file includes the following fragment

Source Code: Developer shall have the right to modify and create derivative works with the Source Code. Developer shall own any derivative works ("Derivatives") it creates to the Source Code, provided that Developer uses the Materials in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Developer may distribute the Derivatives, provided that all NVIDIA copyright notices and trademarks are propagated and used properly and the Derivatives include the following statement: "This software contains source code provided by NVIDIA Corporation."

  • 4
    Consult a lawyer - don't look for legal advice from randoms on the interweb. Jun 25, 2011 at 18:24
  • 1
    Seconded. Those two texts contradict each other - one says you can redistribute as long as you keep the proper attribution intact, the other says you always need written permission. Which takes precedence? Do comments in the source have relevance in the first place? Does writing wrappers constitute a derived work at all? You need a lawyer to answer this. Jun 26, 2011 at 12:17
  • @KilianFoth - I read these snippets in a way that the "written consent" refers to NVIDIA's library code, whereas the other thing to the derived software. But IANAL and always suggest talking to a lawyer.
    – johannes
    Oct 16, 2011 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


Why don't you ask the rights holder, nVidia? It sounds like they should be pleased for you to publish Fortran bindings, but you never know. The easiest solution is just to ask them, and if they say yes, they'll give you a license to do that. They may even publish it on their website which would make it readily available to other users of obscure programming languages that are more than 20 years old.FORTRAN

  • Fortran is about 54 years old this year. VBA, on the other hand, is turning 18! ;)
    – Vitor Py
    Jun 28, 2011 at 13:08
  • He did say "Fortran 90". Jun 28, 2011 at 14:52

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