Originally Posted by jandd
There is another good reason to GPL the drivers. Maybe someone at nvidia should read this
. At the moment it is only a fun patch, but it may become real linux kernel policy soon.
Here's a clue for that person and every other whiner wants every vendor to open source everything they produce: it ain't gonna happen in the foreseeable future. Those vendors will not open source anything. They will, however, drop support for linux if it becomes too difficult to support it. That's how it works when your primary motivation is profit. I know for certain this would happen in the case of my company. We do support some FLOSS stuff and happily submit patches back to the authors, but for certain of our products, being that they're the most advanced of their type by far (no joke, we really can do things that no other vendor can touch), open sourcing our kernel modules is not an option unless we wanted to kiss the company good bye. And the reason is, we aren't a hardware vendor. We're an ISV. Our kernel module *is* the product. Open sourcing it under the GPL would allow every one of our competitors to instantly match everything we do, removing any real market advantage we have. And that's what the zealots just don't get.
And this, of course, would relegate linux back to a hobbyist's niche OS, as we'd have only basic support for mostly older hardware. And I'd certainly be back on my Solaris and Windows boxes, as computers are a tool, not an ideal, as far as I'm concerned. I want linux to succeed. But compromise and co-operation are required. And aside from that, things like that patch only feed the windows zealots ammunition, allowing them to continue to decry how linux isn't business friendly, and is really just toy written by geeks for geeks.
I've said it before and probably will be forced to again: perhaps on some future day we'll be able to get rid of patents and copyrights and all the other cruft currently holding society back. But until then, we have to work with what we have, while working towards what we want.