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SubjectRe: Why is Nvidia given GPL'd code to use in closed source drivers?
On Mon, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:43:22AM +0000, Ian Molton wrote:
> On Sun, 5 Jan 2003 17:37:53 -0500 Mark Mielke <> wrote:
> > Then one day - everybody upgrades to a new version of Linux. My
> > support lines start ringing off the hook.
> To which the answer is 'we dont support linux 9.8.4 yet, sorry.'

The question of responsibility remains unanswered. If the software causes
unreasonable damage to the user's computer, who can be sued?

A closed source product with an expensive price tag provides this
level of responsibility to customers. (at least in theory)

In my opinion, the chosen model should be based on economic feasibility,
not on religious persuasion. If open source truly is the better model for
a candidate product, the model will be used. Whether this takes the form
of the original product becoming open sourced, or a competing open source
product developed, the result is the same.

If you want to convince a company to change their model to be of the
open sourced variety, you will need logic such as the above to convince


P.S. I do realize that many people have experienced better 'support' from
open source communities, than from companies. I consider this an
amazing blessing that should not be taken for granted. The voluntary
contributions that make this possible need to be respected as *beyond*
what one should expect, and the volunteers themselves need to be
respected as champions of the open source community. Anything less is
taking these contributions and contributors for granted as a free
resource available to be exploited.

For example, if Red Hat were to claim that you should purchase
the Red Hat distribution of Linux/GNU, because the open source
community that produces most of the products contained within the
distribution will provide better support than other commercially
available *nix systems, Red Hat would be obtaining profit from the
voluntary contributions of other people. This is not strictly right.
(I don't know if Red Hat has ever done this... Just a scenario...)

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