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Date:      Tue, 19 Dec 2000 21:31:39 +0100 (CET)
From:      Soren Schmidt <>
Cc:        freebsd-hackers@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD vs Linux, Solaris, and NT
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <000001c069f7$767b3b00$> from Steve Shoecraft at "Dec 19, 2000 01:08:31 pm"

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It seems Steve Shoecraft wrote:
> 	There are a number of reasons why a manufacturer can not/will not release
> source code for a driver.  A few that come to mind are:
> 		a) A device driver is a reflection of the hardware.  Manufacturers in
> highly competitive markets could potentially be giving away trade secrets
> for their new wiz-bang technology by publishing the source code.
> 		b) Manufacturers license technology from other manufacturers for inclusion
> into their product.  The license/NDA does not allow them to disseminate the
> information (either through source or documentation).

c. the driver is so embarrasing they wont show it to the world

This is more common than you would belive :)

> 	EXAMPLE: I have been trying to deal with ATI recently regarding my
> All-In-Wonder 128 and TV-Out.  Although they have been *VERY* helpful in
> giving me example source and datasheets for the R128 chipset, they cannot
> give me the information on how to enable TV-Out.  This is because the
> ImpactTV chipset on my AIW contains technology licensed from Macrovision,
> and for them (ATI) to release the information to me would breach their
> agreement with Macrovision and open them up to a nice fat lawsuit.  I *MAY*
> have to try and get a license from Macrovision and then present my licensing
> info to ATI -- and even if I did, I would not be able to distribute the
> source for that component of the driver... (sigh)

Well, go read the GATOS project source, they know how to switch the
TVout stuff at least it works on my AIW :)


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