Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd May 2006 17:43 UTC, submitted by anonymous
GNU, GPL, Open Source After Kororaa announced its GPL problems and me writing a column about it, the people behind Kororaa have now posted an in-depth follow-up: "I have been receiving lots of information which I have been sorting through, thank you to everyone who has emailed me (although I would have also thanked you personally via email). I contacted both ATI and nVidia for some clarification on particular issues, however neither have answered my questions. Nevertheless, this is what I have found so far."
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It is not a matter of ego.
The GPL is not almighty.

Closed source drivers are mines which will explode in the future, when all you can find is old, outdated, unmaintained, badly written drivers that kind of did their job in their time. If we let them in the Linux kernel, it will turn into a minefield.

The kernel is shared under the GPL license because the copyright owners want all of its development to be shared in exactly the same way, so that all parts are shared and free and can be updated and improved with the rest of the system. Opportunistically sidestepping this filosophy to gain economic advantage as nVidia and ATI do should not be allowed, even though it is convenient for many.

If you want to enjoy great closed-source drivers, then use Windows XP; you probably already own a license, and it works pretty well. But Linux exists because of its approach to free code; if you skip that approach for the sake of convenience, the reasons for using and developing it will become weaker, and it will soon stop existing.

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