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SubjectRe: Why is Nvidia given GPL'd code to use in closed source drivers?

Helge Hafting wrote:
> Andrew Walrond wrote:
>>Am I a bad person charging for my work?
> No.


>>Really - I want to understand so I too can join this merry band of happy
>>people giving everything away for free!
> Nobody give everything away from free. Free software, in particular,
> runs
> on boxes that cost money. And people sell service and support.

But I don't sell service, or support. I sell *software*
Am I bad again ?

> The problem with nvidia isn't that they charge money. The problem
> is that their product comes with strange restrictions.

Ah - I see

> The problems are:
> 1) The drivers are closed-source, so we can't fix the bugs. (Yes,
> there are bugs, and no, nvidia don't fix them immediately. So
> it'd be nice for us who understand C to fix this ourselves.
> Releasing the code don't won't cost nvidia because they aren't
> making money on it. They might actually sell _more_ hardware
> if they released the code. So keeping it secret don't make sense
> even from a extreme greediness viewpoint. Such a driver can't
> be made to work with a competing product either with a few tweaks.

Oh. But I don't give you the source code to my game. Crikey - How are
going to debug it if it breaks??? Am I bad again ?

> 2) Still, they _may_ have reasons not to release the code, perhaps
> a patended algorithm or some such. They could at least release the
> specs for their card, so a free driver could be written from scratch.
> But they don't do that either - strange. Some manufacturers _do_
> this, with no ill effects. They get a slightly bigger market because
> their equipment is ok with the free software world.

Gosh, they are naughty aren't they. But I can't release the source
either, because little jonnie and his mates will all copy it and I'll go
bust and I'll lose my house and my wife will leave me. Oh what a dilema!
Am I a bad man ?

> This is very much like selling cars were the gas tank is locked, and
> you don't have the key. The gas stations have keys, but only
> some of them. So you can't fill anywhere.
> Or a tv that don't work on thursdays. Silly in the extreme,
> annoying for the user and no benefit for the manufacturer.
> Helge Hafting

Thanks for explaining that.

I'm gonna hand myself in. I can hardly believe how bad I am. BAD Andrew.
Bad bad bad!

[Tongue so firmly in cheek that it hurts ;) Sorry Helge - I know you
mean well!]

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