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SubjectRe: Honest does not pay here ...
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On Sun, 2003-01-05 at 19:01, Andrew McGregor wrote:
> I've had some discussion with an ex-NVidia guy who was there while they
> were doing the driver release.
>
> They wanted to dual GPL/BSD license the kernel part in the first place,
> then they realised they had a problem. They don't own the copyright on all
> that code themselves, nor do they have the right to redistribute specs for
> all of the hardware without NDA, because it consists in part of purchased
> 'IP blocks' (as hardware people call libraries). So in the end they've
> opened up as far as they were allowed by preexisting constraints.
>
> Remember, the hardware was not constructed with an open source driver in
> mind. It's fairly easy to build hardware which can have open source
> drivers (you choose your IP block vendors carefully), but NVidia did not do
> that in the first place, and now they are stuck.
>

I was not aware of all of this as being the case. I am sorry they are
stuck in such a bad position. It does raise my opinion of them quite a
bit.

> So your belief about hardware is just plain false, unfortunately. You're

No, my belief may not reflect what is, but that doesn't make it false.
I know there were, at least until recently, countries that actually
dictated what I said by law. Again, how much did reality follow the
laws... your guess would probably be better than mine.

> free not to buy their hardware, but I don't think you are being fair to dis
> them when they appear to have gotten the point of open source but been
> stymied by other vendors. NVidia do try hard to give you the right to use
> their stuff with Linux, but there is only so far they can go.
>
> I expect if Linux makes them enough money, they might buy the rights they
> don't have, and release the driver in full. But don't expect that to
> happen soon, because if you think proprietary software licenses can be
> expensive, you haven't seen hardware.

I expect that IP is expensive to buy. Anyway, thank you for explaining
the Nvidia situation to me. I really hope they do figure out some
things soon. (Even if that is just how to make kernels with their
modules loaded more stable and easier to debug.)

Trever
--
"What makes his world so hard to see clearly is not its strangeness but
its usualness. Familiarity can blind you." -- Robert M. Pirsig

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