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SubjectRe: Why is Nvidia given GPL'd code to use in closed source drivers?
On Fri Jan 03, 2003 at 02:48:40PM +0000, Andrew Walrond wrote:
> 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 ?

You are comparing apples and oranges. Software and hardware are
fundamentally different. Nobody can download a graphics card and
email copies to 50 of their friends.

Your game (a piece of software) is the product. For Nvidia,
their card (a piece of hardware) is the product. Nobody is
suggesting Nvidia should give away all their hardware and chip
designs and GPL them. That would of course be ludicrous.

The only thing that is hoped for is that Nvidia might choose to
release specs on their cards so folks can talk to their hardware.
Sortof like how Intel and AMD and many other hardware companies
releases specs on their chips so people can do whatever they want
with them. Where would Linux be if Intel had never released the
specs for their i386 chip? Has releasing the specs for their
CPUs hit Intel? Nope. Because they have a boatload of patents
and a boatload of lawyers. Similarly, Nvidia also has a boatload
of patents and a boatload of lawyers... But thus far, they have
not chosen to release specs. Thats their choice. But as a
result of their choice, I choose to buy other hardware.

-Erik

--
Erik B. Andersen http://codepoet-consulting.com/
--This message was written using 73% post-consumer electrons--
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