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Re: Possibly offtopic : Binary only driver



On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 13:12:27 -0500, Sean wrote:
> Lets be really optimistic and imagine that one of the companies open
> sourced their drivers and gained all the benefits of being in the kernel,
> being debugged by everyone, having all the benefits without the downside. 

I think you need to talk to the nVidia engineers and/or Alan Cox, who has
said in the past (I think) that he can't find a way for them to open their
driver sources without suffering serious consequences. It's not a simple
matter of patents and legal problems. It's a matter of economics.

Anyway, this whole point is silly: nobody should be *forced* against their
wishes to open source their code if they don't want to. If open source
development really is better than the old way, then rational people will
become a part of it over time if they can.

The last thing we want is some developers saying "I didn't want to GPL my
code, but I was forced to". That achieves nothing in the long run. Next
time they write software that doesn't have to be GPLd they won't do it,
because nobody made the argument to them for the free software philosophy
and won.

In fact the most likely thing is not that they'll GPL their sources
against their wishes, more likely they'll just hack around it or not
bother.

thanks -mike


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