Fuck you Nvidia, fuck off.
However, what nVidia CAN can feasibly do, but for some reason they don't, is release programming specifications, such as AMD/ATI have done.
This documentation doesn't expose any nVidia IP, nor does it expose any third party's IP that is in nVidias binary blob driver. It merely is documentation on how a driver may be written to interface to the GPU hardware. In the linked documents it is for AMD/ATI hardware, what is wanted is the equivalent documentation for nVidia GPUs.
Releasing this documentation would make it feasible to use nVidia GPUs for Linux machines. Whilst Linux machines don't have significant market share on the desktop, they dominate in every other market, and a lot of those machines do have graphical UI and video requirements. Failure of nVidia to release programming specifications for its GPUs is eventually going to hand over this huge market to Intel and AMD/ATI.
Why? Why don't nVidia release the programming specifications? Releasing them would eliminate all the negative PR, it would enable access to a huge market, it would cost next to nothing, and it would not divulge any nVidia IP or third party IP.
So why not? What is there to lose nVidia?
Fuck you Nvidia, fuck off.
I can see this being an issue when the patent implementation is used without a corresponding hardware part, like with a software renderer. But with a real hardware we should be in the clear.
It sucks, patent law covers both usage and distribution?
I think it should be like copyright and only cover distribution, not usage.
It is actually the law ...
The patent holder is paid via impost on the hardware manufacturer, not the end user directly.An implied license is an unwritten license which permits a party (the licensee) to do something that would normally require the express permission of another party (the licensor).
Implied licenses often arise where the licensee has purchased a physical embodiment of some intellectual property belonging to the licensor
The patent holder does NOT get a chance to charge the end user once again ... that would be "double dipping".
Last edited by hal2k1; 06-27-2012 at 10:39 AM.
When an end user buys the card, he has only (indirectly) paid for IP embedded in the card. If S3TC is implemented in the software driver for the card, the end user has not yet paid for a licence via his purchase of the card.
I'm not trolling. I understand that when the patent is impemented in an open source driver it's a different implementation and may not be covered by the license granted to the original manufacturer. But I nevertheless maintain that this situation is double dipping bacuase I have already paid for using the patent - both the hardware and the software part (as per my argument in the previous paragraph). Maybe this particluar sitation is not tested in court. Or maybe it is and I don't know about it. But I think the situation is not as clear cut as you present it.
Here is a list of companies which cross-license each other for zero cost in order to make it possible to download Linux at zero cost yet include patented technologies:
This is quite a long list.
However, there is another mechanism that can apply to proprietary closed systems such as Windows. The pay-off for patent holders may not come from actual sales of software, but merely from the fact that the company offers users a high-performance zero cost driver for Windows, leading to many hardware sales for that company.
Having a patent means that one can require that users of the software get a valid license for the software. This gives one cotrol over what users can, and cannot do with the software and the hardware. One can control that non-supported operating systems, standards, platforms and architectures do not gain significant market share over supported ones. Alternatively, one can implement features in the software that are not in the best interests of the owner of the hardware. These are called anti-features, and DRM is an excellent example.
Fancy spending money buying something and yet not being in control of it! Who in their right mind would do that?
But anyway ... back to the point ... through having proprietary closed software, there are myriad ways patent holders can extract value from software other than actually charging users money to obtain that software.
The opposite side of this coin is the observation that there are large numbers of patents held which are purely defensive. The patent holders are not interested in extracting royalties for the "patented invention" *cough*, they are merely interested in holding patents of their own as a form of defense against other parties attacking them with patent claims.