Restrictive licenses only tie the hands of the honest person and may give some ammo for some really stupid code thief that takes the code and uses it in a verbatim manner if you have the time and patience and financial ability to chase after them (and hopefully they are in your court jurisdiction).
Seriously, there are literally thousands of projects out there utilizing free code out of compliance with their license. Then there other situations as well. The only one that can take action about the violators is the Copyright owner. If that owner for example passes away it is then up to the estate inheritors to police and search for violators in the faint hope they can do something about it if they wish. That is very unlikely.
But if the license or contract doesn't explicitly states something, then you have no case if you try to enforce such thing.
KHTML was licensed in Lesser GPL and Apple was not in violation. When Apple released Webkit it was licensed under BSD and LGPL. Despite of the less restrictive license however, Webkit has become the most used engine. Apple still contributes, Google has joined in and many others. Again all done without GPL 2 or 3. As far as Apple going out of it's way to avoid releasing more code goes, Apple these days releases more code into the FOSS system then it ever has and it isn't because of a restrictive license. Quite the opposite, it is releasing it under a BSD / Apache like license so in Apples case they are more then they ever had under a GPL license.Another important example is webkit. Apple forked khtml to make webkit, and it was only after prolonged pressure from copyright holders that the code was released.
These days, Apple is going out of their way to avoid having to release code any more.
Yup sure do, many drivers are still not free of closed firmware. The means of which the Samsung exfat driver came about was also due to an unauthorized release happening sloppy security practices on Samsungs part. Had that not happened, chances are that the exfat driver never would have seen the light of day. Once the cat was out of the bag however then it became open source (and still in question to the legality of it in several aspects).Moving over to linux and the open drivers, you have more examples, remember the exfat driver from Samsung?
There is a ton of hardware that is still not supported by linux, or if it does have any support, it has been done through reverse engineering (and often with just base functionality available). Heck a good example is the linux driver for the hauppauge colossus. Funny thing is that the people that run the company used to be regular contributors to the kernel and v4l.This is not about honesty, it is about business and what you want to accomplish. Moreover, forcing offenders to comply is a small part of the picture. The big picture is getting contributors. The copy-left in linux has ensured that we have open drivers for just about anything under the sun. Nvidia is just about the only hold-out, and they are really starting to feel the pressure.
Try to get that or the source from them and they ask you for thousands of dollars despite it hooking into several GPL/MIT licensed code. So despite their driver being derived work from those projects any request for code gets you a polite "Go pound sand" reply. Since they are not using my code, I am powerless to do anything about it.
I wouldn't go that far. Intel has been going all out for their drivers and they are still not the clear choice. Plus there is a matter of driver track records. From my understanding, there is very little resemblance between the free and blob drivers and there is still areas where there is a legal "gray area" such as texture compression. Because the codebase is so different, it really would take a development team of at least equal size to keep current with the hardware and capabilities. There is also the matter that there is a shared code base that has to be maintained on the free drivers for the multiple vendors. One area falls behind and the rest could be waiting. Not having to rely on shared code does have its advantages at times and that often is being to release a fully capable driver from your own "walled garden" where you do have more control.If AMD had went all in on open drivers, then I am pretty sure they would be a clear choice for the steam machines. Hope they are able to step up one more notch the coming year.
Last edited by deanjo; 01-09-2014 at 09:09 PM.