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SubjectRe: Why is Nvidia given GPL'd code to use in closed source drivers?
I am in almost complete agreement with you regarding the benefits of 
free drivers.

But my point has evolved from this argument over nvidia and I extended
the principles to my business to see where it would lead.

I don't see rms saying "Non free software is bad, except games"


Helge Hafting wrote:
> Andrew Walrond wrote:
>>Helge Hafting wrote:
>>>Andrew Walrond wrote:
>>>>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!
>>>Nobody give everything away from free. Free software, in particular,
>>>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 ?
> No - there's nothing wrong in selling software. I buy it if I want
> it, or don't if I don't think it is worth the money.
> Of course the same apply to nvidia - I choose not to buy their hardware
> _because_ of their secrecy. Many aren't that lucky, you can't usually
> dictate the components of a work machine.
>>>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 ?
> You can't compare your games to nvidia drivers. Your game might have
> a problem, but that is a problem with the game only. Trouble
> with video drivers means you can't use the computer properly
> at all.
> Most people don't bother debugging a video game - if it is crap, they
> don't play it. Because they don't need it. It is just a fun
> thing _if_ it works. You need working video hardware though - under
> all circumstances.
>>>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 ?
> I repeat - the two cases aren't comparable. People need fixable drivers
> and
> docs so their screen will work under all circumstances - including
> future changes in the os.
> A game isn't like that at all. Nothing depends on it other than the game
> itself.
> Particularly, no expensive hardware depends on it.
>>>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!]
> Try to understand this: the problems with nvidia does not apply to your
> gaming business. Both of you sell some closed-source software, that
> don't
> make you equal at all though. In your case the software game is the
> product.
> In nvidia's case the software is merely something necessary to make the
> hardware product work.
> Good open-source drivers is a huge win for us and a small win for
> nvidia,
> they have nothing to loose here. Your situation is different, open
> source
> might make the game impossible to sell, as you say. Most people
> understand
> and accept that.
> Helge Hafting

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