With all religious views aside, there is a big benefit for Nvidia to release the specs and an open driver. The next innovative consumer product that doesn't try to mimic a desktop computer will run Linux. And the hardware that requires the least amount of hassle and gives the most flexibility will be the target for that device. Lets take augmented reality glasses as an example. You have to optimize the software stack on those devices because you need performance while still having to fit everything in a very tiny space. Relying on Nvidia writing the drivers for your device is not an option. Perhaps Google can get a company like Nvidia to write custom some custom code, but for a small start-up company it's just not possible.
By selling closed technology, Nvidia (or any other GPU manufacturer) eliminates the possibility of being part of the next big thing. I'd say it's worth the trouble of sorting out any IP issues for the benefit of letting people use your products to innovate. Linux is the playing ground and Nvidia refuses to play with the other kids. Basically a poor business decision that will cost them real money. The wise thing to do would be to open up before someone else does it and grabs the market completely.