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On Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 20:37:04 -0700,
  James McKenzie <[email protected]> wrote:

> Manufacturers don't want to give away technical secrets and will go to 
> great lengths to keep them that way.  Their bottom lines depend on it.  

And the way to change this is to not buy stuff from companies that don't
document how to use it.

> Several independent developers were sued by a now defunct manufacturer 
> for reverse 'black box' engineering their chipset just to build drivers 
> that the manufacturer PUBLICLY stated they would not build.

Anybody can sue for anything in the US. It doesn't mean it will get very far.
The rulkes on reverse engineering depend on where you are. Typically it's
going to be legal unless you agree to a contract that says you won't.

> Now for the problem with RPMFusion.  If they ain't on the stick, someone 
> gotta take over.  That means if we can get the 'propriatary' bits and 
> then black box them to see what happens and then write our own drivers.  
> ATI released a 'blob' for a very famous, but almost defunct, operating 
> system.  Maybe they will do this again for those cards they cannot 
> financially justify supporting.  Has anyone in the FOSS environment 
> approached them?  This might put Fedora and the upstream company above 
> their competition if they did.

AMD / ATI releases documentation of their video cards. nVidia does not and
will not. They don't harass the Nouveau project and that seems to be as far
as they are willing to go.
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