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

On Fri, 03 Jan 2003 12:51:04 +0000, Andrew Walrond wrote:

>Yes but....

>I develop computer games. The last one I did took a team of 35 people 2
>years and cost $X million to develop.

>Please explain how I could do this as free software, while still feeding
>my people? Am I a bad person charging for my work?

>Really - I want to understand so I too can join this merry band of happy
>people giving everything away for free!

You can't with the GPL, because it presents you with a "take it or leave it"
package deal. But you could with a different license.

What you do is you base your game off of whatever open source code gets you
the furthest. The game itself, of course, is closed source. After your first
few months of sales, you contribute some of the code you wrote back to the
open source community.

Why shouldn't you? It hurts you not one bit and it's free publicity. Heck,
after a few year, maybe you open source the whole game.

The next person to write a game can start where you left off to some extent.
He can develop a better game for less money, and he can contribute more code
back to the community. Eventually, there may be enough code in the comnunity
to develop such complex games entirely open source.

However, with a license like the GPL, every game has to be developed on a
proprietary base. You simply can't afford to put any money into an open
source base. So every game has to start back from square one, or the most
advanced proprietary base that can be found.

Everybody loses except the person who makes the proprietary base or engine
you started with. I think working to make all software better and cheaper is
much more noble goal than working to arm twist other people into giving you
their code.

And the best part is, you can work to strengthen fair use, first sale, and
oppose the validity of shrink wrap licenses. You can argue for a narrower
definition of a derived work. In fact, you can at least *try* to win the
legal war.


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