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Tear-Free Acceleration For ATI EXA, Xv

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  • #81
    Originally posted by stan View Post
    You can still open up your code while ensuring that you're not giving your competitors a free ride: it's called CopyLeft. If AMD wants to prevent NVIDIA from stealing code, AMD should license the driver GPLv3 so that if NVIDIA uses the code they'll have to open up their entire code base. Any improvement that NVIDIA makes would be then available for AMD to incorporate.
    We looked into this, but GPL and similar licenses only protect the actual code, not the ideas incorporated in the code. It's the ideas and the knowledge that the ideas work which are most expensive to develop -- GPL only prevents a verbatim copy of the code, and that would not make sense for a competitor anyways.

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    • #82
      > We looked into this, but GPL and similar licenses only
      > protect the actual code, not the ideas incorporated in the code.

      You could patent it.

      It doesn't matter how wonderful the secret technology is.
      Without FLOSS drivers I can't use it.
      If I can't use it I'm not going to buy your chips.

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      • #83
        Originally posted by rbmorse View Post
        I'm not saying this is what I want, but I do believe it is what is happening. I'm not the one who thinks that a closed driver is required...but ATI and nVidia seem to think so.

        I happen to agree that a stable and feature complete open driver is desirable, but I don't know who's going to pay for the full-scale development effort you want. Certainly not the Linux gaming crowd.

        Frankly, all I see from you is a bunch of rude sanctimony based upon a profoundly ignorant view of the industry and some bad religious dogma.

        My view may in fact be "unacceptable", but let's see a business case that might influence the businesses involved to change their thinking.
        Ok, Alright cool by me. I misunderstood, and I apologize.

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        • #84
          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
          We looked into this, but GPL and similar licenses only protect the actual code, not the ideas incorporated in the code. It's the ideas and the knowledge that the ideas work which are most expensive to develop -- GPL only prevents a verbatim copy of the code, and that would not make sense for a competitor anyways.
          Which is exactly the point. Implementation doesnt really matter. If someone can do something better then you, the GPL actually allows him to do it. If you dont understand the fundemental idea's behind the GPL, then you need to pick it up and read it. Maybe several times.

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          • #85
            My belief, coming from someone with at least a minimal knowledge of computer security, is that "the enemy" (eg. nVidia/Intel) has an infinite number of smart techs with an infinite number of electron microscopes and an infinite number of disassemblers figuring out the clever hack that gave you a better generation of cards at a given time. I see compiling the driver as nothing more than simple obfuscation of the code, that doesn't really get in the way of "the enemy" figuring it out, and hurts no one except those that aren't "the enemy".

            I know there's complexities like real-world economics of reverse engineering and the advantage a few weeks of development time can give you, and I can imagine the niggling feeling inside the back of an exec's mind that doing this also keeps entry barriers high enough to keep small companies from being a threat, but in the end it harms everyone, and I'll always be pissed off about it.

            I have faith that the open-source driver(s) will be good enough for my needs though (graphics acceleration without any DRM nonsense), and I have hope that the proprietary driver will eventually go away, but I understand that the only way that'll happen is if things like DRM go away, and that's a much bigger battle...

            Actually, just thinking about the way Digital Rights/Digital Restrictions Management is one of the reasons the proprietary driver exists, what I'd like to see are open-source GPU drivers, developed by the GPU manufacturers, that are so high-performance, prevalent, and well documented/abstracted that it pushes the onus of writing separate "drm drivers" to the content providers themselves

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            • #86
              Once the DMCA gets pulled, and it will get pulled, we will see DRM fall flat on it's face... Already most major content industries are rapidly shrinking because of it, and when the DMCA gets pulled then they'll be in a situation that will turn those industries on there heads...

              The cool thing though is that when it's all done the content industries will come out of it better then they are today. Modern and efficient with digital distribution that isnt severely limited. I cant wait for the DMCA to get pulled. I think it is the very best thing that can happen, and it will happen.

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              • #87
                Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                Which is exactly the point. Implementation doesnt really matter. If someone can do something better then you, the GPL actually allows him to do it.
                Right, and that's exactly what a company in a competitive market wants to prevent.

                Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                If you dont understand the fundemental idea's behind the GPL, then you need to pick it up and read it. Maybe several times.
                Trust me, I have read all the versions more times than I even want to admit. Every stinkin' version is longer and harder to read than the one before

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                • #88
                  Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                  We looked into this, but GPL and similar licenses only protect the actual code, not the ideas incorporated in the code. It's the ideas and the knowledge that the ideas work which are most expensive to develop -- GPL only prevents a verbatim copy of the code, and that would not make sense for a competitor anyways.
                  Well no copyright license prevents people from copying your ideas or reading the code and duplicating it's functionality. It's outside the scope of copyright law (and this is very much done on purpose).

                  Even if the GPL said 'you can not use this code to learn anything' it would be unenforcible. Nobody's ideas are sacred from duplication under any sort of law, even patent law. (which is designed for the express purpose of forcing companies to divulge inventions to the general public, not hide them).

                  You can try to obsufcate the code by releasing it in machine code only form, but there isn't anything that will prevent people from disassembling it or reverse engineering it. Reverse engineering hardware and software is still perfectly legal, and is in fact necessary for a technology driven society.

                  -----------------

                  Oh well there isn't any point in telling you this, of course. It's not like it's your decision or likely that anybody would listen to you. You guys are still doing tremendous work and I look forward to my next hardware purchase with that in mind.

                  ----------------

                  Someday everybody in the hardware world will will realize that refusing to disclose how hardware work to their own paying customers is not a effective way to compete in the market place.

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                  • #89
                    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                    Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                    Which is exactly the point. Implementation doesnt really matter. If someone can do something better then you, the GPL actually allows him to do it. If you dont understand the fundemental idea's behind the GPL, then you need to pick it up and read it. Maybe several times.
                    Right, and that's exactly what a company in a competitive market wants to prevent.

                    Trust me, I have read all the versions more times than I even want to admit. Every stinkin' version is longer and harder to read than the one before
                    So what your saying is that ATi wants to prevent better implementations? That sure is what it sounds like... OK, so now motives and allegiances have been revealed. As they say the truth will out.
                    Last edited by duby229; 09-06-2008, 10:52 PM.

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                    • #90
                      So what your saying is that ATi wants to prevent better implementations? That sure is what it sounds like... OK, so now motives and allegiances have been revealed. As they say the truth will out.
                      That sure sounds like a nice way of being a demagogue. Here, I'll fix it for you:

                      "So what you're saying is that ATI wants to prevent better implementations BY THE COMPETITORS?"
                      It's taking some time, but I'm sure we'll manage to unveil AMD and reveal to the world that they actually are not a charity.

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