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What is so secret in the drivers that they need to be closed?. Are there some sort of legal issues? I mean if they where opensource everyone would have a better day, game developers and those scientists that do the mega calculations on the chips etc. Im sure CUDA would be alot easier and have faster development progression on a multitude of projects. What could be so damaging in the drivers that the world cant have a peak so that they can better interface with the device that they bought ?. Does anyone know of a legitimate reason why its like this? Greed? Stupidity?. I really would like to know!


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Because they are. – RolandiXor Dec 30 '12 at 3:54
I actually thought this was a decent question (and upvoted it). I certainly don't know enough about hardware development to know why. Perhaps because it allows others to copy their hardware? I wouldn't have thought that allowing access to drivers would allow access to hardware design, necessarily. – Sparhawk Dec 30 '12 at 4:08
@Sparhawk it's not a good fit for this site however. It not only reads like a masked rant, but it asks something that is not really related to Ubuntu nor can be handled by us. – RolandiXor Dec 30 '12 at 4:25
@Sparhawk the latter. Plus, it's been answered by Nvidia and other companies many times. They have non-disclosure agreements and other restrictions, so open sourcing the drivers would also mean creating a fresh architecture from the ground up, or getting their partners to agree to drop the NDAs. Neither will happen any time before the next green moon :). – RolandiXor Dec 30 '12 at 4:33
@RolandiXor Ok. Thanks for the short-version answer! My wisdom and Google-fu weren't up to the task. :) – Sparhawk Dec 30 '12 at 4:37

Because that is their license as set by Nvidia Inc.

It is impossible to know the exact reason, but my guess is they want to maintain their monopoly and hide everything they can.

They are in the business of making money. If you give everything away unfortunately not everyone cares who came up with it. They just take what ever is free.

Maybe one day that will change when it is trivial, but at the moment it is an important component of a computer and each advancement, or tweak to a driver is configured, and manipulated by several developers with sophisticated algorithms.

Believe it or not they do have intellectual property to preserve. I believe in open/free software, but that is what is really going on.

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Yes, but WHHHYYY? – Sparhawk Dec 30 '12 at 4:51
Because, if you really, like really want to know, just ask them. Here you're not going to find an answer better than this. And just as stated in here, nVidia is a corporation, corporations have secrets. – Uri Herrera Dec 30 '12 at 6:52
@UriHerrera I was actually responding to the pre-edited version, which basically read: they are proprietary, because the license says they are proprietary. – Sparhawk Dec 30 '12 at 8:54
Thank you for your speculation, sorry about the lack of relevancy. – ccomly Dec 30 '12 at 16:41
@Goddard, bing? – blade19899 Dec 23 '13 at 13:51

One reason they may be proprietary is that some Nvidia components are used in military technology. The same goes for intel (although I don't know if intel is proprietary). Keeping the drivers proprietary may keep the military technology more secret. So, in theory, it may be government regulations related to national security that keep it locked up. maybe someday it will change, but not likely while we are still putting Nvidia chips in military equipment.

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No, that is just looking like a conspiracy theory. A desktop video card does not have any components that would require a driver to handle such advanced and specialized features in a military device. – Uri Herrera Dec 30 '12 at 6:55
actually I work in a lab that pretests components before they are used, and we test Nvidia and Intel chip sets all the time for military applications. It may not have anything "special", but the fact it goes into a military computer means they are classified as controlled material. – Arathorn867 Dec 30 '12 at 14:47

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