Re: Why is Nvidia given GPL'd code to use in closed source drivers?

From: Larry McVoy (
Date: Sat Jan 04 2003 - 17:23:30 EST

On Sat, Jan 04, 2003 at 11:06:51PM +0100, Matthias Andree wrote:
> It's useful to have people around that think in other directions, they
> make up for innovation. Linux is an offspring of such people's thoughts.

Linux is a copy of Unix. There is very little new stuff in Linux.
All of the innovation is built on top of a copy of a commercial work.

To date, nothing remotely as influential as Unix has come out of the
open source community. Sure, there are a ton of copies of existing work,
that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about new things. I keep
coming back to this because some of you refuse to get it. It costs A LOT
OF MONEY TO MAKE NEW STUFF. Because we are stupid, we all make a lot of
mistakes, we throw away those mistakes. The free software model doesn't
generate 1/1000th of the money it would take to make progress continue
at its current rate in the software world. Don't believe me? Cool.
Go start a company, GPL your work, get back to me in 5 years and show
me how well it worked.

Other than distributions, where are those free software success stories?
Oh, yes, Cygnus. They were doing about $25M/year or so when redhat bought
them. Whoopee. And Red Hat, *with* Cygnus, is doing all of $80M/year.
And we all agree that they are the leader in the free software financial
success stories, right? Who's bigger? IBM? Let's see, spent $1B and
by their own statements "almost have made that back". Hmm, running at
a loss but going to make it up on volume.

Now let's compare to some closed source companies:

        Company Factor more revenue than Red Hat
        Microsoft 370
        Oracle 116
        Sun 150

You get the idea. Sun makes more in 2 days than Red Hat makes all year.
It doesn't even take Microsoft a whole day to make what Red Hat makes in
a year.

> This is exaggerated, but it might help stepping back and looking at the
> WHOLE system.

Indeed. Look over your shoulder. That's me, stepped way farther back than you.

Larry McVoy            	 lm at  
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